Sinixt Documentary Trailer

Statement in support of Sinixt Nation from the opening of Selkirk College's Aboriginal Gathering Place

This statement was issued at the opening of The Aboriginal Gathering Place at Selkirk College, Castlegar campus on May 24th 2012.  We encourage people to post comments and create a discussion around this statement. Please share your thoughts, and opinions that are relevent to this statement. The intention is a positive one so we ask that your comments have this intention as well. All abusive and irrelevent comments will be deleted.

Hello…My name is Dennis Zarelli. I live in Vallican, in the Slocan Valley.  I have asked permission from multiple sinixt people to be allowed to share my thoughts in this statement. With their blessings they requested me to present my statement publicly so that they could witness the presentation of my statement. They have asked that I only express their position so that my statement would be able to put these issues beyond a first nations vs. first nations issue and into the realm of much broader consideration.  Other than that request these thoughts and feelings are my own.

About Us

Sinixt Nation is the collective group of indigenous human-beings who are the sovereign indigenous caretakers of Sinixt tum-ula7xw (mother-earth), located in the area now known as "the interior plateau of BC, Canada". Sinixt territory extends North of "Revelstoke, BC", crosses a international boundaries to "Kettle Falls, Washington" in the south, to the Monashee Ridge in the West, and  in the east and is traditionally all the way from the Rocky Mountain Ridge encompassing the entirety of the headwaters of the "shwan-etk-qwa" (Columbia River) . Sinixt Nation are the traditional gatekeepers to the lands which lead to the grease trails to Blackfoot territory to the east. Sinixt Nation puts our land, our water, our ancestors and our ways before economics.

In 1956, the government of Canada declared us extinct and has refused ever since to allow Sinixt people to our inherent right to Sinixt interests, including land title, in our territory. For over 25 years, the appointed Sinixt Nation indigenous-government members have actively protected and stood up for Sinixt lands, aboriginal rights and interests and indigenous rights and interests, and the interests of the settler communities in regards to watershed protection in within our territory north of the 49th parallel.

To date, Sinixt Nation  has repatriated 64 ancestral remains and have continued to follow our cultural laws and responsibilities and to protected our ancestral remains and cultural sites.

Sinixt Nation Headman, Llmixm Ki-x'u-x'us-kit (Vance Robert Campbell Sr.), was appointed by Sinixt Headman Francis Romero and a Council of Sinixt/Arrow Lakes Band elders and Clan Mothers at our ancient nkweio-xten (village) and burial grounds along the banks of "slhu7kin-etk-qwa"  (Slocan River) near "Vallican, BC".

Sinixt Territory

Sinixt Territory is land in which the collective sinixt land title is held communally and with cultural responsibilities by our people as dictated by whuplak'n (natural law) and smum iem (women's council) and governed as the collective Sinixt Nation. A British Columbia Supreme Court Land Claim was filed in 2008 by Sinixt Nation representatives on behalf of the collective rights of all Sinixt descendants in regards to the lands described as Sinixt Territory . Corporations, Provincial and Federal governments and their agents and employees are required to consult with the Sinixt Nation in regards to developments and business operations and land use and resource extraction within Sinixt Territory as stated by both international and domestic law.  Please see our "Maps" section for other historical maps of Sinixt Territory.

View sinixt-tum-xula7xw in a larger map

Sinixt Chief James Bernard Speaks to Washington DC Committee

Chief Bernard Speaks

James Bernard September 17 1913 - colville rezOn one of his (Sinixt Chief James Bernard) trips to Washington, D.C., where he attended a senate hearing of the Colville Delegation, a senate committee-man was reported to have said, “You Indians are never satisfied. Before the white men came, you Indians were naked; you had nothing; your dwelling place was under the trees. When you prepared for bed, you crawled behind a log and covered your breech-clout with a piece of bark. You were dying off with starvation. Now you sit there big and fat; you have a  house to live in; you are better off now than you were before. Now go and don’t come back.”

Indian Legend of Kettle Falls

This story was related many years ago by a sinixt relative by the name of Aeneas Seymour, to a Mrs. Goldie Putnam. It's appears here as it was written down in "Kettle River Country: Early days alongs the Kettle River" by Ruth Lakin (1976).

Indian Legend of Kettle Falls

This is my land. A land of peace and beauty... of vanishing historical landmark ... of ancient customs and legends nearly forgotten. This is a land where men have shared with their brothers from generations past ... a gathering spot from hundreds of miles around. This is a land barely showing the ghost-like traces of a glorious past.

The old land is gone now. A new land is here.Fishing at Kettle Falls

But it still is a land of peace and beauty. I know this is true for I am always watching.

I am Coyote, the Transformer, and have been sent by Great Mystery, the creator and arranger of the world. Great Mystery has said that all people should have an equal right in everything and that all souls share alike.

 As long as the sun sets in the west this will be a land of peace. This is the commandment i gave to my people, and they have obey me.

A message from Sinixt Nation representatives in Canada.

A message from Sinixt Nation representatives in Canada.

This message is not meant to cover all of the work that we have been involved in our northern territory but concerns issues of immediacy that you should be aware of.

piq-s-mx-ikn - Jumbo Glacier

The Sinixt Nation is opposed to the proposed Master Development Plan for Jumbo Glacier Resort and all and any future developments on our sacred mountain. We wish to express our sincere support to groups and individuals who are actively working to protect the area known as Jumbo Mountain against all developments in this sensitive part of our territory.

Letter From Archeologist Gordon Mohs 1992

May 29 1992,

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Gordon Mohs. I am currently employed as a heritage consultant with the Sto:lo Tribal Council in Sardis, British Columbia.


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