The Department of Sociology and Anthropology congratulates the Sinixt for their legal victory, as the Supreme Court of Canada rules the Sinixt not extinct.
In October, the Department hosted an online event to share information about the Sinixt fight for recognition of their territory and their existence in Canada. Sinixt tribal member Rick Desautel was charged in 2010 with hunting as a non resident and without a proper permit in Canada. Rick harvested an elk on the ancestral land of the Sinixt people in Vallican British Columbia. To the Sinixt, hunting on ancestral land is an aboriginal right gifted to them by Creator. A right that has legally been denied to the Sinixt people since 1956 when the Canadian government unjustly declared them extinct in Canada, despite the nearly 3,000 members existing on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State. With the Desautel Hunting Case, the Sinixt people had a chance to not only bring light to their unjust extinction by the Canadian government, but also abolish the declaration completely.
The event screened a 30 minute film of the case made by Native American filmmaker Derrick LaMere, “Older Than the Crown,” followed by a question and answer period with Rick Desautel, Shelly Boyd, Derrick LaMere, and Mark Underhill. Contract instructors Simon Brascoupé and Megan Muller also co-hosted Rick, Shelly, and Derrick in their Zoom classes (ANTH 2610A and SOCI 2810B) in October.