Sunday, September 11, 2016
White Rhythmic World-Bridger/ White Planetary Mirror - Lunar Scorpion Moon of Challenge, Day 20
Sinist Frog Mountain Story.
The Sinixt (also known as the Sin-Aikst or Sin Aikst, "Senjextee", "Arrow Lakes Band", or — less commonly in recent decades — simply as "The Lakes") are a First Nations People. The Sinixt are descended from indigenous peoples who have lived primarily in what are today known as the West Kootenay region of British Columbia in Canada and the adjacent regions of Eastern Washington in the United States for at least 10,000 years. The Sinixt are of Salishan linguistic extraction, and speak their own dialect (sn-selxcin) of the Colville-Okanagan language.
Today they live primarily on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington, where they form part of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, which is recognized by the United States government as an American Indian Tribe. Many Sinixt continue to live in their traditional territory on the Northern Side of the 49th Parallel, particularly in the Slocan Valley and scattered amongst neighbouring tribes throughout BC, however the Canadian Government declared the Sinixt extinct in 1956.
In her anthropological study of the Sinixt in Canada, Keeping the Lakes Way, Paula Pryce notes that "despite their obscurity in Canada and the scattered documentation of their presence in the area, both archival and published material show that the Sinixt Interior Salish resided along the Columbia River, Arrow Lakes, Slocan Valley, and parts of Kootenay Lake..." Other tribes used the Columbia as a trade route, passing through Sinixt territory to trade with the Sinixt and to trade further south. Parts of the traditional territory of the Sinixt are being claimed by the Westbank Band of the Okanagan people and as shared use and occupancy by the Ktunaxa. There is controversy over their historic claims to the area.
According to Lawney Reyes, the Sinixt numbered about 3,000 in the early 19th century, divided into several bands of sizes suited to hunting and fishing. He distinguishes the "Upper Sin-Aikst" around the Arrow Lakes, "above Revelstoke and around the Castlegar, Trail, and Slocan Valley area" from the "Lower Sin-Aikst in the Northport, Bossburg, Marcus, and Kettle Falls area in Washington State." The latter constituted "at least eight large bands". Once they obtained horses, they ranged farther east to hunt on the Great Plains.
In prehistoric times, the Sinixt were a semi-sedentary people, living in warm, semi-subterranean houses for the winter months. Summers were spent fishing, hunting, and gathering other food resources in their mountain and lake-dominated homeland. Reyes says that they wintered in the more wind-sheltered valleys, but summered by the Columbia. Scholars have classified the Sinixt as "complex collectors" (as opposed, for example, to "hunter-gatherers").
Sharon Montgomery of the Nakusp Museum, and tribal legend documented by Nancy Perkins Wynecoop and Nettie Wynecoop Clark describe the Sinixt as the "Mother Tribe" of the Pacific Northwest Salish. In a recent interview with the journalist Rex Weyler, Bob Campbell, "Headman" of the Sinixt in British Columbia, notes that, "As the mother nation, we often settled disputes among the (other) bands." Contributors to the article's forum refuted the claims as being without ethnographic or historical foundation. Sinixt mitochondrial DNA can be found at the base of Native American Haplogroup B2.
Early white explorers reported the Sinixt to be of average height and size, with hazel eyes. They were adept in making suspended bridges over the narrow, swift-flowing Columbia, and skillful at fishing. Their staples included huckleberry, salmon, and roots (camas, bitterroot), but they also ate black moss, other berries (serviceberry, gooseberry, and foam berry), hazelnuts, wild carrots, peppermint, and various game meats (deer, elk, moose, caribou, rabbit, mountain sheep, mountain goat, and bear; after the coming of the horse, they also ventured east after bison). They chewed pine pitch like gum, and had a range of herbal medicines. Starting in June, mature salmon arrived at Kettle Falls, the farthest downriver that the Sinixt territory extended. The Sinixt caught only the salmon that were not strong enough to clear the falls, ensuring that the strongest went on to spawn. Both bands traveled to Red Mountain near Rossland, B.C. to harvest huckleberries in August. These seasonal events figured prominently in their culture. They hunted in late autumn, but still often were short of food by late winter.
The Upper Sin Aikst trained dogs to drive deer toward the Columbia River, where hunters in canoes shot them with bow and arrow. The Sin Aikst used the distinctive Sturgeon-nosed canoe; about 15–17 feet (4.5–5 meters) long with a cedar frame covered by large slabs of pine bark, riding low in the water with downward-sloping tips to reduce wind resistance.
Reyes says that they often intermarried with the Swhy-ayl-puh (Colville), who had a very similar language. The territory of the latter was largely in the Colville Valley and intersected Sinixt territory at Kettle Falls.
Reyes gives an account of various Sinixt customs, especially related to pregnancy, birth, and education, as well as some descriptions of funerary customs. Children were "closely monitored" by elders. Children were sent on "short excursions" to search for protective spirits; they were usually required to bring back an object to prove that they had made the journey. As they grew older, until puberty, these journeys became longer. Each person was expected to acquire multiple spirits, because each had different powers.
At about the age of six, the children began to be instructed in "the legends of the tribe and family history…, tribal ways and tribal laws." At eight or nine, they learned to swim and to run long distances; boys were taught to make and use weapons and fishing gear, while girls started to learn plant lore and tanning, as well as how to care for young children, maintain dwellings, and prepare meals.
Sinixt religion was mainly "for harnessing power." The sun, the stars, the water, and the different animals (especially the salmon and coyote) each had different powers.
The whole tribe was led by one head chief (ilmi wm), but each smaller village of 50-200 had a local chief, whom they called a "thinker". These "thinkers" would come together to form a council. The Sinixt were a Matrilocal people, with newly married couples living with the wife's family rather than the husband's.
When the United States gained formal control of the Oregon Country south of the 49th Parallel in 1846, some Sinixt remained in American territory near Kettle Falls, where Fort Colville continued to operate. Kettle Falls (or just above it) was essentially the southern boundary of Sinixt Territory, and was shared with the Colville people. They were traditionally close to the Colville people, who celebrated the Sinixt arrival at the falls during fishing season with a three-day dance. The tribes had a three-day dance at the end of their season.
In the wake of the partition, the Hudson's Bay Company created Fort Shepherd, British Columbia, just upstream from the confluence of the Pend d'Oreille and Columbia Rivers, which was very near the border, in order to serve their former clients and also maintain a post on British territory. Adjacent Sinixt territory in British Columbia remained in the hands of the Sinixt. As late as the 1860s, Sinixt leaders still equated British title in their Northern territory as signifying Sinixt sovereignty. When Fort Shepherd was abandoned by the Hudson's Bay Company, for example, it was left in Sinixt hands.*
Kin 6: White Rhythmic World-Bridger
I organize in order to equalize
I seal the store of death
With the rhythmic tone of equality
I am guided by my own power doubled.
When a system reaches its limits, a new evolutionary state triggered.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Manipura Chakra (Limi Plasma)