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“Extinct” First Nation Files Land Claim: Readers Respond

I tend to associate the issues surrounding unacknowledged tribes with the United States, but the Sinixt of British Columbia’s Kootenay region are making news here as an aboriginal group without legal standing. The Sinixt have filed a land claim with Canada and British Columbia (Cbc.ca). The history of their disenfranchisement is detailed in theTyee.ca.

As is often the case, the reader comments are more interesting than the articles themselves. A sampling from the CBC.ca article:

1. “Basically, what this tells me that in Canada anyone who can get enough people to believe that they have a common heritage and identity can band together and extort money from our government.”

2. “Rider Nation [the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football team is] looking to take over Saskatchewan has just as much of a claim.”

3. “‘The Sinixt people say they will hold a traditional fishery on the Lardeau river next May.’ GREAT ! They are already planning to ignore fishing closures (for sustainability reasons)! Isn’t that “special” ? Unfortunately, human nature(of all creeds) contains an element of opportunistic GREED. This is such an example.”

4. “I’m descended from Japanese Canadians who were interned during WWII – maybe I should go back and claim the land that was taken from my grandmother and her family when the Japanese were forced from the coast. I also think I’ll go back and reclaim the Scottish land my family lost. Can I join you MCD in BC? Maybe together, we’ll have more power to reclaim our lost lands.”

From theTyee.ca reader comments:

1. “This is such an incredible story – one of strength, and dedication. What an amazing story of the power of memory and life. I am so glad the Sinixt are back and here to stay. I want to know more! Very best wishes, blessings, and deep admiration. I’m very grateful to learn this story.”

Other comments in theTyee.ca article come from the Sinixt themselves. Other people try to clarify the history of this band.

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