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Keeping the Lakes' Way

Keeping the Lakes' Way: Reburial and Re-creation of a Moral World among an Invisible People

Copyright Date: 1999
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    Keeping the Lakes' Way
    Book Description:

    Officially extinct, Sinixt Interior Salish living in diaspora work to protect their history, identity, and social memory through the protection of, and the act of reburial at, an ancient burial ground.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7649-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  5. chapter one Introductions: The Journey Home
    (pp. 3-11)

    By the time I was nine years old, I frequently made my way down the gravel road to the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. I had a habit of sitting among the river stones and comparing them to the veined, precipitous rock cliffs of Mount Sentinel. Before me Tin Cup Rapids varied in fierceness, depending on the whim of engineers at Hugh Keenleyside Dam, and sometimes foamed with effluent discharged at night from the pulp mill upstream.

    The Columbia River valley at Castlegar, British Columbia, is a broad seam between mountain ranges, teethed with gravel benches left behind...

  6. chapter two Presence: Sinixt Interior Salish Ethnography, or the Contribution to Obscurity
    (pp. 12-35)

    The Vallican archaeological site in southeastern British Columbia tells us only a little of their story. It tells us that some people had a village, and that the Slocan Valley was a good place to live. People stayed there a long time, more than two thousand years. Sometimes they lived as a nuclear family in their own home, and sometimes several families lived together. The site also tells us a little about the food they ate, how they got it and prepared it. Through the burials, it suggests something of their ideas about politics and death. It even suggests cultural...

  7. chapter three The Latent Land: Towards a Lakes Diaspora
    (pp. 36-69)

    Ethnographic categories (well defined or not) depict people in stasis rather than in flux, the movement by which all peoples perpetually live. Remember Kroeber’s guidance: the historical method is crucial to understanding the complexity of cultures as they live, breathe, and wind together the current and the past through the perceptions of each new individual. How individuals perceive is always new. They take the available information from every part of their world and combine it with their own innovations and interpretations to create and re-create their culture. Yet the new comes in part from ideas and events of the past....

  8. chapter four Competing Prophecies: The Case of the Vanishing Indian v. the Resurrection of the Ancestors
    (pp. 70-96)

    Non-Sinixt in Canada seem to have mistaken latency of a territory for the disappearance of a people. Such a perspective on the history of the Arrow Lakes people fits very much into a nineteenth-century paradigm with which our society, both academic and popular, continues to struggle. Arising from Social Darwinist unilineal evolutionism, the Vanishing Indian motif portrays aboriginal peoples as archaic, as misplaced relics rather than peoples with a continuous and continuing historical consciousness and cultural identity. For years now, many European North Americans have been anticipating the tragic demise of native peoples. Yet, to the dominant society’s confusion, these...

  9. chapter five Emergence: Distress, Memory, and the Re-creation of Morality among an Invisible People
    (pp. 97-141)

    Degrees of historical consciousness and cultural identity vary from group to group, just as they do from individual to individual within groups. Every person juggles her ideas of the past with her concept of identity in the present, even though there are undoubtedly some people who have a mere thread connecting them with their past. Yet, many North American aboriginal peoples do have a strong sense of identification with their ethnic past, a past in which their ancestors often lived quite differently than they do today.

    Among the Sinixt Interior Salish, history also means different things to different people. Individuals...

  10. chapter six Afterthoughts on Here and Now
    (pp. 142-148)

    Some time has passed since I was that nine-year-old contemplating stones on the bank of the Columbia River. Since then, the West Kootenays have changed. Indeed, when Lakes people came to the Slocan in concern for their dead, all of us changed. Once invisible to us, the Lakes have recently challenged our understanding of history and our sense of selves. They have challenged our sense of time and space, our own chronotopes. As a result, we have had the chance to watch our history transform; it has telescoped, sending us into a greater time-depth, making us aware that there is...

  11. appendix one Selected Spelling Variations of ‘Sinixt’
    (pp. 149-151)
  12. appendix two Selected Historical Sinixt Village and Resource Sites
    (pp. 152-156)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 157-174)
  14. References
    (pp. 175-188)
  15. Index
    (pp. 189-203)