‘The Geography of Memory’ book tour stopping in Trail

Author brings new and expanded legacy of Sinixt people to Trail in free event at The Bailey

Eileen Delehanty Pearkes. Photo: Submitted

Eileen Delehanty Pearkes. Photo: Submitted

Trail Arts Council is proud to present “The Geography of Memory,” a book launch, discussion, and short film screening at The Bailey Theatre on Wednesday (Oct. 26).

Join Shelly Boyd, Snayackstx (Sinixt) Cultural Facilitator, and author Eileen Delehanty Pearkes for a lively discussion and readings from the 20th-anniversary edition of “The Geography of Memory”.

This updated volume about the Snayackstx (Sinixt) First People of southeastern British Columbia includes the voices of many contemporary Sinixt people, expanded maps/illustrations/photographs, an inside view of the landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision, R. v. Desautel, and new details about tribal effort to re-introduce ocean salmon to the upper Columbia River region.

In characteristically gracious prose, Pearkes identifies the enduring human qualities of persistence, healing and renewal in this important story that carves a path of truth across the region’s complex, transboundary landscape.

Tracking one woman’s quest for understanding, the book records her effort to uncover the buried truth behind the Sinixt people. Known in the United States as the Arrow Lakes Indians of the Colville Confederated Tribes, they once lived along the upper Columbia River and its tributaries for thousands of years, in a world unmarked by contemporary political boundaries between the US and Canada.

Pushed from Canada in a story unique to First Nations, the federal government next declared them “extinct” in 1956, eliminating with the stroke of a pen the tribe’s access to most of their traditional territory, and their constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights.

The book charts a hopeful, positive path as the formerly “extinct” tribe embarks on reclaiming its cultural, natural and spiritual history in Canada.

Also part of the evening are two short film screenings. “Washed Away- Stories of Displacement on the Columbia River” is a short film by Agathe Bernard in collaboration with Revelstoke Museum and Archives.

The film dives beneath the surface to explore the impacts of the Columbia River Treaty on the valley south of Revelstoke. Then, “The Sinixt Homecoming 2022” is a short film made by Nelson’s Capitol Theatre documenting the celebration that took place this past Summer.

The event will take place in the Muriel Griffiths Room in Trail Wednesday, Oct. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m. for a 7:30 pm. start. Admission is free.

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Arts and cultureCity of TrailIndigenous cultural groups