A trio of drummers were among 130 people who attended a rally on Monday in support of Sinixt First Nation protesters.

LETTER: Sinixt question was asked backwards

Do we ask ourselves, “Can I block my own driveway? Can I have a barbeque in my own backyard?”

I’m writing in response to last week’s “Question of the Week” and the news of the injunction against and arrests of representatives of the Sinixt Nation.

The question, “Should the Sinixt First Nation protesters be permitted to block a Slocan Valley logging road?” is backward and misleading. Do we ask ourselves, “Can I block my own driveway?  Can I have a barbeque in my own backyard?”

No, we don’t.

The Sinixt have lived here for millennia, their culture and people having evolved within this land, their tum’xula7xw (homeland).  A more interesting and accurate question to explore would be “Should the Sinixt Nation allow logging roads to be built in their traditional territory without consultation?” And, “should we settlers continue to allow development to proceed on public lands, without input and consent from the Sinixt?”

In spite of being declared extinct in 1956 the Sinixt continue to uphold their responsibilities to their ancestors, their contemporaries and future generations.  These responsibilities are ongoing and inseparable from this land.

Both international and Canadian law recognize the rights of indigenous people such as the Sinixt. (See Canadian constitution s. 35 and The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.) The Canadian settler public is also increasingly recognizing that the agreements that were made with First Nations so that we could settle in North America, are not being honoured.  (Treaties, Royal Proclamation of 1763.) More and more of us are deeply concerned about the injustices that are being perpetuated in our names. We are increasingly shocked and dismayed that “our” courts continue to obstruct justice and violate international agreements by ignoring basic human rights.

The more I learn about First Nations’ traditional cultures, the more I realize that their aims — peace and harmony, balance and respect for all peoples and all creation — are my aims.  In the face of the increasing corporatization of Canada and the disregard for all our rights and living environments, I can see that my allegiance is clearly with the original people of this land. It is my dream to be part of a living, thriving culture that we, settler and Sinixt, create together through decolonization.

So, should the Sinixt be consulted?  Hell yes!  Will I allow development to proceed without including all the voices of the people who belong to this land, in the past, present and future? Hell no! I wholeheartedly support Marilyn James, Dennis Zarelli and the Sinixt Nation in the stand they’ve taken on Perry’s Ridge.

I encourage others to join the growing movement working to shift the paradigm of greed and ensure our collective future in Sinixt Territory and on this beautiful Earth.

 

K.L. Kivi

Nelson

Just Posted

Nelson CARES to buy Hall-Front development for affordable housing

A $4.5-million investment from the provincial government has been committed to the deal

Aimee Watson elected RDCK chair

The representative for North Kootenay Lake took over this week

Glacier Gymnastics to add multi-purpose room

The expanded space will help accommodate the popular after-school programming

Woman searching for father last seen in Nelson in 1999

Frank Johnson’s daughter, Chandra Machin, is searching for her father

Tour company plans shuttle service to Kelowna for stranded travellers

SMT Kootenay wants to help travellers get in and out of ‘Cancelgar’ in winter months

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

B.C. referendum ballot count jumps to 18% returned, Elections B.C. says

New count adds ballots received, but not screened for authenticity

Dead killer whale discovered on Nootka Island

“This is very concerning to our people.”

Most Read