In 2011, Meaghan Champion, a member of the Cowichan Tribes, first launched a currency called tetla for use in her community. Since then, tetla has been used to pay for things at participating businesses in Duncan, Victoria, and Langford, as well as to support Hul'qumi'num language lessons. Now, tetla is eyeing to launch as a cryptocurrency on the Cardano blockchain.
The desire to build in Web3 came from an interest in asserting Indigenous financial rights. Historically, the Cowichan had a form of currency, called tela in Hul'qumi'num. They also exchanged value through gift giving at potlaches. "We gave and received money as gifts. We loaned money and borrowed money. We had our own currencies and our own banks. That is why we have words in our language for money, loans and banks," said Champion in a white paper on the project.
The project has evolved into a desire to build a sovereign stock exchange on the Cardano blockchain. On this exchange, Cowichans would be able to list businesses and buy shares of stock in these businesses, even if they don't work there. "It is time to assert all the rights that other nations around the world have," Champion said in the white paper. "One of those rights is the right to have our own economy, run our own way with our own currency, our own stock exchanges, our own banks and everything else a strong economy can have."
Champion says that the project is still in its early days of financing and planning, as led by her family. But her ultimate hope is to use the profits to invest in the health of the Cowichan community through a biotech hub, in partnership with American medtech entrepreneur Michael Vassar. "We want to research aging, and longevity. We want to make Cowichan home to the best geriatric care in the world," she said to Victoria Tech Journal. "The goal is to measurably increase the number of years that Cowichan people are living, as well as improve the quality of life that they are experiencing."
Media Contact : Victoria Tech Journal
Source : https://www.victechjournal.com/p/tela-indigenous-cowichan-cryptocurrency-blockchain