The Geography of Memory is back in a greatly expanded, 20th anniversary edition. New maps, more photos, groundbreaking research and several essays by contemporary Sinixt people, all inform this important history of a transboundary First Nation that the Canadian government nearly succeeded in wiping from cultural memory. Learn more about the “American” tribe that took Canada to court, and in a landmark 2021 Supreme Court decision, proudly restored their Aboriginal right to access 80% of their traditional lands.
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.
Part travelogue, part cultural history, part meditation on the power of place, the book details the culture, practices, place names and landscape features of British Columbia’s lost tribe, all through a contemporary lens shaped by the over-arching need for truth and reconciliation in Canada.
Readers are encouraged to use the “buy local” in Canada and US links to support neighbourhood bookstores, the lifeblood of literature. The book is available in bulk purchase directly from the publisher or through the big guys: Amazon.ca and Indigo in Canada or Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble in the US.