Our Lakes people have been declared extinct even with thousands of us still very much alive today. Our story has been a story of relocation and displacement since colonization by European immigrants.
In the early 1900's, The Arrow Lakes Indian Reserve was set aside for a small group of Arrow Lakes people. After the last known member, Annie Joseph, died in 1953, the Canadian government declared our people extinct in 1956, even with hundreds of Lakes people residing on the Colville Indian Reservation, and with many more scattered throughout British Columbia.
Another reserve was attempted for our people near Brilliant, British Columbia, but during the long process, the land was sold to a Doukhobour community. This was land that had been in my great grandfather Baptiste Christian's family for as far back as they could remember, as well as a burial site for their family and our Lakes people. They left this land that they had considered their home for generations.
This release is dedicated to all of our Arrow Lakes/Sinixt People.