The Arrow Lakes Band ceased to exist as a band for the purpose of the Indian Act... It does not, however, mean that the Sinixt ceased to exist as a tribal group."

-- Minister of Indian Affairs
Ron Irwin,
August 9, 1995

Many of us in the Columbia Basin were born somewhere else. Most families can only trace their ties to this land back 2 or 3 generations. There have long been voices here, however.

Carbon-dated remains reveal that beginning at least 5000 years ago these lands were home to an indigenous culture. Sometimes called the Arrow Lakes People, the Sinixt Nation flourished by respecting ever facet in the web of life.

Little is known locally about those who came before us, and although many myths and misconceptions about the Sinixt abound, their culture is still alive, still connected with this land, and still determined to leave a legacy to the next generation.

The purpose of this site is to raise awareness of the original people of the West Kootenays.

When the first European explorers arrived in this area, they encountered a rich culture that had flourished in this region for many thousands of years.

Despite an apparent genocide perpetrated against the Sinixt, and having been declared officially extinct by the Canadian government, descendants of the Arrow Lakes Peoples continue to maintain a presence locally.

Please bookmark this site and share it with other people who you feel may be interested in the long term history of the Kootenays and the continuing struggle of the Sinixt Nation.

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