How many Autonomous Sinixt (AS) are there and where do they live?
Autonomous Sinixt headquarters are in Vallican, BC but Sinixt unaffiliated with any reserve or band council live scattered across Canada and the USA. Since we are contacted weekly by people of Sinixt heritage, these statistics continue to shift. As of early 2022, Autonomous Sinixt number at least a few hundred.
Why don’t Autonomous Sinixt currently work with Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT)? Wouldn’t the Sinixt case be stronger if they worked in solidarity?
CCT’s lateral violence and attempts to erase Autonomous Sinixt work prevent AS from working with them. The CCT (along with ONA) intervened against AS in the Perry’s Ridge logging case and later attempted to criminalize Sinixt Matriarch Marilyn James through spurious charges brought before the court. Yes, all of humanity would be stronger if we worked in solidarity, but Indigenous Peoples are no different than the rest of humanity – some groups (CCT, for example) prioritize their own gains over collective interests.
Isn’t the “West Kootenay” region the shared territory of many Nations?
No. The anthropological, archaeological, historical and oral tradition records are clear that the upper Columbia River is Sinixt traditional and unceded territory. Other Nations may have used parts of the Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ with the permission of Sinixt, but Sinixt held responsibility for this area and buried their ancestors here. The legal vacuum created by the extinction order of the Sinixt has led to neighbouring First Nations claiming Sinixt territory in the contemporary colonial land claims process.
Hasn’t the extinction order of Sinixt been reversed?
No. The Desautel Case garnered hunting rights for people of Sinixt ancestry living in the US. It did not address the extinction issue and the extinction order of 1956 is still in full force.