February 29th, is one of those breakouts – a rogue day in the standard calendar. The year (as we measure it) has been around, more or less, since Ancient Rome. A far older calendar common to most Indigenous cultures is one based on the cycles of the moon. Every four years, February adds one day, […]
Upper Columbia River Region
The Sinixt, or Arrow Lakes Tribe, have been in the news lately. After a decade of legal battles over the right to hunt in the Canadian portion of their territory, their case will be heard at the Supreme Court of Canada. It’s hard to imagine why, in an era of cultural reconciliation for Indigenous people, […]
It has been a reluctant transition to spring in the mountains of the upper Columbia Basin. Those who have been here all winter have been tearing their hair out. I have merely been staring at the unmelted snow with astonishment, since I returned several weeks ago. In my garden, a statue of Kuan Yin has […]
The last time my life was as busy as it has been this spring was the year my second son came into the world. That sunny, damp day in mid-March 26 years ago set off a whirl of caregiving for family that only began to abate in 2002, when my first book emerged in the […]
Last week, I travelled south of the international boundary, to Kettle Falls, Washington. Standing on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River, I watched the reservoir pool around a land mass exposed by low water. The indigenous word for this place is ksunkw, “island.” Sinixt and Skoyelpi fishermen, their families and the Salmon Chief once spent […]
This dam is just below the international boundary between Canada and the U.S., in a tucked-away corner. Pacific Northwest dams are often in tucked-away corners…..though they share water’s power with millions of people living in cities like Vancouver and Seattle.