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Time immemorial – Sinixt oral tradition is from time immemorial. The chaptikwls (animal stories) are handed down by way of oral tradition and cover a broad range of subjects including; history, cosmology, ecology, and morality. Chaptikwls contain subtle messages as to how we are supposed to live as human beings. The names of plants, animals, rivers and land were all here before skiluxw (humans) as told through the chaptikwls. Many stories are also known as coyote stories as they are from the magical time when sin-ka-lip (coyote) was helping kwelkuten (creation) to transform and create all what we now know to be.
Approx. 12,5000 B.C.E. – 1700 AD (gregorian) – Sinixt use and occupy sinixt tum'xula7xw (the area now commonly referred to as 'The Kootenays'). Over the course of thousands of years hunting, fishing, weaving, pottery and tool technologies evolve and improve. Vacant pithouse sites from previous generations are continually utilized by the continuing generations of Sinixt. Sinixt people thrived in a harmonious and sustainable way with the land, water, air, birds, fish and animals.
1700's – The ktunaxa (kutenai) entered Sinixt territory after being pushed west across the rockies in a war with the Blackfoot. Backed by anthropological and ethnographical evidence, this explains why the Ktunaxa used Algonquin style birch bark canoes, have an isolated language, bury their dead different than the ancient burial customs found in the Columbia River Headwaters and have predominate prairie culture.
1763 - The Royal Proclamation made by King George R. states "And. We do further strictly enjoin and require all Persons whatever who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any Lands within the Countries above described. or upon any other Lands which, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such Settlements."
1770's – The first of several waves of diseases kills the majority of Sinixt people.
1794 – Jay Treaty is signed by U.S. And Great Britain after the American Revolution. It identifies various rights of native groups living near or along the International Boundary.
Around 1800 - Ktunaxa raid a Sinixt fishery site at the mouth of the Slocan River when most of the village is away hunting and gathering, upon returning Sinixt warriors from all surrounding villages mount an attack and drive the Ktunaxa war party into submission. Sometime after the defeat a Sinixt council establishes an oral agreement over where the Ktunaxa can reside, fish and hunt in peace in the eastern part of Sinixt territory along the east-side of Kootenay Lake. Inter-marriage and peace between Sinixt and Ktunaxa begins.
1811 – David Thompson working for the Northwest Company and Britain enters Sinixt territory while mapping and helping to establish forts and British fur-trade efforts.
1820 – Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) in an effort to discourage American fur traders from occupying the land south and east of the Columbia River in the Snake River region ordered it's trappers to eliminate all beavers in the area, which they did.
1825 – HBC establishes “Fort Colvile” (later spelled “Colville”) near major Sinixt and Skoyelpi(Colville) fishing and trading sites. near present day Kettle Falls, WA.
1830 – Sinixt people from Arrow Lakes overwinter at Fort Colvile for the first time when ice prevents them from returning North.
1838 – “Fort of the Lakes established” by the HBC near what is now Arrowhead, BC. Quebec Mission Jesuits “baptize” 17 Sinixt children at HBC Fort of the Lakes.
1846 – Catholic Missionary Pierre Jean De Smet visit the Arrow Lakes and “converts” more Sinixt living near Arrowhead BC, at a traditional fishing site which is now underwater.
1846 – The International Boundary Treaty is signed by the USA and the British Columbian colonialists, creating the International Border across Sinixt land.
1850 – Sinixt families continue to make use of as many as 28 traditional village sites in the area now referred to as the West Kootenays.
1852 – Gold is discovered by miners near “ntsakwulhwilhxw,” a Sinixt village, near Coyote Rock at what is now known as 49 Creek. This sparked the beginning of the “West Kootenay Gold Rush” and the invasion of Sinixt land by settlers and miners.
1856 – HBC constructs “Fort Shepherd” on the west side of the Columbia River just under a mile North of the International Boundary.
1861 – Gold Commissioner W.G. Cox arrives at the Confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers to settle conflicts between miners and Sinixt and marks the area as “Indian Reserve.”
1870 – Fort Shepherd, 4 km south of Trail BC, is closed by the HBC and is given to the local Sinixt Chief.
1871 – British Columbia joins the Confederation of Canadian Provinces. Fort Colville closes.
1872 April 9 – By a U.S. Presedential Order 12 tribes, including Sinixt, are forcibly amalgamated into the “Colville Confederacy” and an Indian reservation is established stretching from the International Boundary to what is now Central Washington State.
1875 – The BC provincial government passes the Public Land’s Act, designed to open land for settlement & increase European immigration. The federal government issued the 1875 Duty of Disallowance, striking down the BC Land’s Act because of the province’s failure to make treaties legally surrendering Native land. In response, BC threatened to withdraw from Canada.
1876 – The Indian Act is enacted to assist in the assimilation of natives “in Canada.” The Act forces “indians” to register themselves into “bands” and to relocate onto “reserve land.” The colonial document also forces non-traditional ways of social organization upon indigenous people across the territory. A similar system of apartheid was also used in South Africa by British colonialists.
1882 – J.C. Haynes purchases land for a townsite at the mouth of the Kootenay River which had been previously set aside by Gold Commissioner Cox as “Indian Reserve.”
1884 – George Mercer Dawson surveys and maps out Sinixt lands for the Government of Canada.
1884 – 1960's – Canada bans native dances and ceremonies through policies in the Indian Act.
1890 – Kamloops Indian Residential School opens.
1892 – The US government removes the southern portion of Sinixt territory from the Colville Reservation, which is located in the northern portion of the reserve.
1892 – Dawson surveys and maps Sinixt lands for a second time in 8 years.
1894 – The discovery of a settler's shack on a traditional camping place led Cultus* Jim, a Sinixt man, to stand for the land but the settler, Sam Hill claimed "squatter's rights." Before Cultus Jim could get to his gun to defend himself he was gunned down by Sam Hill. Hill was never charged but instead the nearby creek (Hill Creek) is was named after him. *Cultus is Chinook slang for “bad.”
1894 – A resolution is passed in the BC legislature to petition the federal government to forbid “Colville Indians” (Sinixt) from crossing the International Boundary to hunt and fish in the northern part of our territory.
1894 – there were more than 100 residential schools operating in Canada
1896 – Approximately 70 Sinixt still living at a traditional village site at the outlet of Slocan Lake must move south in response to the rapid expansion of Slocan City.
1898 – Kootenay Indian Residential School (aka St. Eugene's I.R.S. aka St. Mary's I.R.S.) opens in Cranbrook BC.
1902 – The Canadian government registers 20 Sinixt as the Arrow Lakes Indian Band and creates the reserve at Oatscott on the lower Arrow Lake. This reservation comes 30 years after many Sinixt have already been forced south to the Colville reservation and to neighboring interior Salish lands.
1903 - A census of those listed on the band roles of the Arrow Lakes Indians listed a total of 26 people. When the next census was taken in 1924, just 8 remained and, by 1936, that number had dropped to 6. These census records reflect the number of Arrow Lakes band members living on the Arrow Lakes Indian Band reserve, not the number of Sinixt alive and living throughout Sinixt territory.
1909 – James Teit surveys Sinixt lands and produces ethnographical reports.
1916 - The McKenna-McBride Commission creates an agreement between BC and Canada declaring; "...in the event of any Indian tribe or band in British Columbia at some future time becoming extinct, then any lands within the territorial boundaries of the province which have been conveyed to the Dominion...for such tribe or band and not sold...shall be conveyed to the Province."
1927 – Canadian government passes a law making it illegal to raise funds to pursue land claims.
1928 – Franz Boas surveys Sinixt land and produces ethnographic reports.
1933 – Indian residential school principles are given legal guardianship over all Indian children attending residential schools. Parents faced, abuse, physical injuries, death or imprisonment if they did not surrender their children.
1936 – Vern Ray surveys, maps, and provides ethnographical reports of Sinixt lands. This is the fifth government survey of Sinixt lands within a 52 year span. Ray's survey is the largest (geographically) and locates Sinixt land to be extending North of Revelstoke as far south as Kettle Falls, WA, and surrounded by the Monashee and Purcell Mountains.
1939 – In preparation of the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam and the flooding of our homeland, many Sinixt participate in burial ceremonies and reburials are performed, moving our ancestral remains and artifacts to safety at higher ground.
1940 – The Ceremony of Tears is held at Kettle Falls. It is attended by over 1000 people including many Sinixt, Skoyelpi, and members of other tribes gather to grieve the loss of the salmon and the flooding of our ancient cultural sites and burial grounds.
1941 July 5 – A major fishing village at “Kettle Falls” was destroyed by the rising waters of Lake Roosevelt. Until 1946, salmon and steelhead continued to appear at the base of Grand Coulee Dam, trying to get upriver to spawn. After 1946, none was seen at the dam again.
1948 – Within a decade of the Grand Coulee Dam being in operation a major flood causes major damages to communities along the Columbia River from Trail, BC to Astoria, Oregon. This begins the plot to create a network of dams and reservoirs thru Sinixt land in the name of ”Flood Control.”
1953 October 1 – Annie Joeseph the last surviving “registered” Sinixt/Lakes Band member passes to the spirit-world.
1956 – Canada declares the “Arrow Lakes Indian Band” to be extinct. Sinixt people continue to live in surrounding lands in all directions.
1959 – There are 257 Sinixt who are registered thru the Confederated Tribes of Colville reservation.
1961 - The Columbia River Treaty was signed January 17, 1961 by CANADA (Prime Minister Diefenbaker) and the USA (President Eisenhower), just five years after Sinixt were declared extinct.
Mid 1980's – Vance Robert Campbell, along with Marilyn James' uncle Manny McDougal are sent to investigate events in “Northern” Sinixt territory under the direction of elder Eva Adolph Orr and hereditary chief Francis Romero.
1987 – Road Building in Vallican unearths our ancestral remains.
1989 – Blocakade in Vallican BC is established by Sinixt to protect the burial grounds at nkwieo-xten
1989 - present – Countless letters and correspondance between Sinixt Nation and various federal and provincial government agencies, Indian Band Councils, and corporations take place.
1990 April 27th – Lower Kootenay Indian Band Council writes a letter of support to Sinixt people trying to repatriate ancestral remains. The letter states, “We know that the ancestors of the Sinixt, Arrow Lakes Indian Band, have inhabited the Vallican area for at least 3000 years; ...” and is signed by a Chief (name unreadable) and councillor Wayne Louis.
1990 September 25 – After a two year campaign to repatriate ancestral remains, Sinixt Hereditary Chief Francis Romero receives a transfer of title document along with six (6) ancestral remains from the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria BC.
1990's – After harrassment and border crossing problems Sinixt Robert Watt leads a legal battle for the right to travel freely across International Boundary which divides the territory. He does this on behalf of all Sinixt people. The case of Robert Allen Watt vs. Her Majesty the Queen is filed under the Federal Court of Canada. File # T-1831-06
1991 – At a meeting in Westbank, Marilyn James is given the responsibilities and title of Sinixt Spokesperson by a traditional Elder's Council. On October 8th 1995, Marilyn James is confirmed as Sinixt spokesperson by another meeting of the elder's council after a Sinixt man, Mario George, questions her position.
199? - Bob Campbell made headman by traditional Elders Council at nkweio'xten, in Vallican, BC. Hereditary Chief Francis Romero led the ceremony.
1997 February 5 – Sinixt Nation sends letter to Arrow Forest District demanding consultation to industrial development on Slhu7kin/Perry Ridge. This marks the beginning of a series of correspondance with provincial ministries in regards to Slhu7kin/Perry Ridge
1998 September 22 – Then BC Priemer Glen Clark, sends invitation to Sinixt Nation and other First Nations to participate in the Premier's Summit on economic Oppurtunity for the Kootenays. Marilyn James attends on behalf of Sinixt Nation.
199? - first winterdance ceremony in decades is preformed at nkweio'xten (Vallican BC)
200? - First Pithouse contructed by Sinixt in nearly 200 years is built at nkweio-xten, Vallican BC.
October 9th 2005 – Sinixt Headman Bob Campbell's grand daughter, Agnice Sophia Campbell is born becoming the first documented Sinixt to be born in the northern territory for nearly 80 years. She is given Canadian citizenship but the government refuses to give her “status indian” rights.
2005 – Eva Orr before passing over to the spirit-world affirms the position of Vance Robert Campbell Sr. as the Sinixt/Arrow Lakes Chief/Headman in a written document.
Early 2006 – Eva Adolph Orr (Ha-ha-akin) passes onto the spirit-world.
2006 October 30 – The Sinixt Nation Society is incorporated under BC laws. The society is created to help Sinixt carry out the legal and financial activities of the Sinixt Nation.
2008 July 28 – Sinixt Nation files a land claim to Sinixt territory against Federal and Provincial Crown under BC Supreme Court File No. 14324
2009 – A monument to Alex Christian and his sinixt family is erected and unveiled in Brilliant BC.
2009 – Sinixt Headman Bob Campbell is invited to attend a Spallumcheen Band council meeting to talk about Sinixt Nation. He brings with him the census records for the Arrow Lakes Indian Band and informs many at the meeting that they are in fact from Sinixt descendants, including Council Chief Wayne Christian.
2009 December 2 – Marilyn James is informed by legal counsel for the Arrow Lakes Aboriginal Society that the groups has no members.
Fall of 2010 a large Pithouse with the capacity to seat up to 150 people is reconstructed at nkweio'xten (Vallican BC).
2010 October 25 – After a refusal to consult Sinixt on plans to log sections of our sacred mountain we declare Slhu7kin(Perry Ridge) off limits to logging and road building and launch a legal case against the Ministry of Forests, BC Timber Sales and Sunshine Logging Ltd. Demanding our rights to consultation. A protection camp is established on the road to prevent access to road building machines.
2010 November 5 – BC Hydro holds consultation meetings with Sinixt Nation.
2010 December 17 – After months of consultations Terasen Gas issues a cheque to the Sinixt Nation.
2011 February 3 – At a Nelson City council meeting trying to establish First Nation's protocols, councilor Kim Charlesworth immediately wondered why the draft protocol included only the Ktunaxa Nation Council and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. She stated that the obvious thing missing from the protocol was the Sinixt Nation.
2011 mid February – Court refuses to grant consultation rights an gives an extremely flawed judgment full of erroneous reasonings.
2011 late february – Another protection camp is erected to defend Slhu7kin/Perry Ridge by Sinixt supporters and local community members. The blockade lasts 10 days before a court ordered injunction is granted to Sunshine Logging and the RCMP deploy 20 officers to remove the camp from the roadway. No arrests were made.
September 2011 - Harry Wong, grandson of Alex Christian commissions the building of a traditional Sinixt (sturgeon nose) canoe. Harry becomes the first Sinixt to paddle the rivers of the Columbia and Slocan in a Sinixt sturgeon-nose canoe in many many decades.
2011The Okanagan Nation Alliance hosts the "2011 Columbia River Salmon Feast" in Sinixt Traditional territory. Sinixt Nation members erect a tipi and banners before the event in Castlegar BC. ONA staff ignored emails sent by Sinixt Nation supporters who were asking that protocols and the whuplak'n be respected. Many youth and elders were confused and felt used by the ONA political posturing event.
2011 October 15 – The Occupy Nelson movement begins and soon after occupies the front lawn of Nelson City Hall. Many signs and statements are made from the camp recognizing and supporting the Sinixt Nation. A Sinixt tipi is erected at the camp and remains there until the camp is taken down in December.