LETTER: Set history right for Sinixt

From reader K.L. Kivi....

Rick Desautel

I’ve been sitting in on the trial of Rick Desautel, the Sinixt hunter who is being tried in Nelson for hunting without a license and hunting as a non-resident. As a settler living in Sinixt territory, and as a Canadian citizen, I feel this trial is not in line with the values of our community.

Many of us recognize and acknowledge the Sinixt people’s long standing relationship with this land where we have made our homes. And we honour their ongoing presence on this land whether it is north or south of the international boundary that divides their homeland in two. We yearn for more of their presence, their stories, their knowledge about this land and their rightful presence in all negotiations concerning the future of this territory.

Expert witness Dr. Dorothy Kennedy makes it clear in her testimony that the Sinixt lived in the area from Big Bend on the Columbia River north of Revelstoke to the Kettle River on the lower Columbia, since time immemorial. Other anthropologists have stated that due to the circumstances of settlement and mining rushes and the connected diseases, resource depletion, violence and land appropriation, many of the Sinixt moved south in order to survive. Should they now be excluded from the northern 80 per cent of their homeland for this?

I do not want to see our historic “get outta here!” followed up with “and stay out!” Instead, we now have an opportunity to recognize the Sinixt who are here and have been working to overturn the extinction for almost 30 years and welcome back others to the land of their ancestors. I’d like to see us spend our tax dollars on making this happen in a respectful and participatory way instead of through expensive, long-winded trials. What if we stopped waiting for First Nations to try and reclaim their rights through the court system and just did the right thing as a community, as a society and as a nation?

The reversal of the Sinixt extinction is long overdue. We need the collective will of all justice-minded settlers in the Sinixt tum xula7xw to work with the Sinixt to set history right and make a long term commitment to structure change. I’m in. Who else?

K.L. Kivi

Sinixt tum xula7xw

Just Posted

Energy efficiency session at the Nelson Public Library

Nelson Hydro customers who are seniors are now eligible for free weatherization upgrades

Local Parachutes for the Planet visit B.C. Legislature

Nelson students made parachutes to push for climate change action

LETTER: Fix the potholes

From reader Bob Johnson

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read