We Acknowledge We Occupy Unceded Indigenous Territory

The Bezaleel Israel Village Collective acknowledges that our eco-village is situated on unceded ancestral territory of the Sinixt peoples.

We grieve the forced removal and genocide of the Indigenous people of this territory and the lasting trauma those events continue to inflict on the original inhabitants of this land.

We are honored to steward this land and are committed to reconciliation, decolonization, and building cooperation with all our relations in the region.

We recite this land acknowledgement as a way of showing respect for, and to hold in our hearts, the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we work and live. We do this in the spirit of resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories while working towards honoring and inviting the truth.

Map of Sinixt Ancestral Lands

Bezaleel Israel Eco-Village is located in ancestral tribal territory of these Indigenous peoples: 

Sinixt (Sin-Aikst, Sin Aikst, Senjextee, Arrow Lakes Band, Lakes).  

Təmxʷúlaʔxʷ has a range of definitions including "the land and all things/beings within it" and Sinixt Təmxʷúlaʔxʷ is "the place where the Sinixt belong along with everyone else who belongs there.” The Sinixt people shared their territory with other peoples, but they consider the area to be Sinixt territory. 

In 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the existence of the Sinixt people in a landmark decision that could lead the way to rights, reconciliation and acknowledgement of a lost history.

Richard Desautel, a Sinixt resident in Washington State, shot an elk near Castlegar, B.C. in 2010. He was arrested and charged with hunting out of season and as a non-resident.

But his case, and now victory at Canada’s highest court following a 7-2 decision, was about more than hunting rights. It acknowledges the Sinixt as a people 65 years after they were declared extinct in Canada by the federal government.


Nespelem (Nespelim, Nespilim) 

Syilx (Okanagan/Okanogan) 

Sanpoil (Ipoilq or Hai-ai’-nlma by the Yakima, Nesilextcl’n or .n.selixtcl’n by the Sanpoil) 

Indigenous name of nearby place: nk̟’ʷəlíla? (“Rolling waves”). The name of the area known as Waneta at the confluence of the Pend Oreille River and the Columbia. A Lakes winter village was located just downriver from the mouth of the Pend Oreille, but into the late 1800s, Lakes people lived here year-round. Mary G. Marchand’s mother, Felicity, was born here. The name, nk̟’ʷəlíla?, applied both to the former settlement and to the lower area of the Pend Oreille River which the Lakes people utilized. Upriver the Pend Oreille or Kalispel people used the river resources. The border between the two groups was located at Metaline Falls (Mary G. Marchand). Teit (1930: 208-209) lists nk̟’ʷəlíla? as an ‘old village’ or ‘main camp’. 
Source: Mary G. Marchand, Charlie Quintasket, Julia Quintasket, Louise Lemery, Teit (1930: 208-209). 

Indigenous name of nearby place: ne'əc'ər'ísm' (“Having Kingfishers”). This name refers to the general area of Northport on the east side of the Columbia River. ??’??’??’??? is the best-known name (Mary G. Marchand), and the term may apply to the west side across the Northport as well (Julia Quintasket). However, Charlie Quintasket believed the west side had a different name, but he did not recall it. ?????? and ???’?????? refer to the are above the Little Dalles (Mary G. Marchand), but others say the terms apply to the area ‘right around Northport’. All informants stated that there were Lakes winter villages on both sides of the river at Northport, and Lakes people lived here year-round, but only on the west side of the river. Some who lived here were Mary Augusta and her mother, ????????, Nicholas Gerome, ???????, and his brother, Mary Edwards and her daughter, Julia (Mary G. Marchand, Julia Quintasket). Teit (1930: 210) identified ??’??’??’???’ as one of the main Lakes villages ‘at or very near Northport.’ Source: Mary G. Marchand, Julia Quintasket, Charlie Quintasket, Teit (1930: 210). Note: Copying Salish characters from a PDF yielded corrupt text-- hence the odd question marks above. Refer to the source PDF, below, for the correct display). 


Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ map with place names labeled in the sn-selxcin dialect

Map of Sinixt Lands

Updated Map of Sinixt Lands

Rossland Museum - Sinixt

The Importance of Indigenous Cartography and Toponymy to Historical Land Tenure and Contributions to Euro/American/Canadian Cartography

The Sinixt First Nation serve as a perfect example of a case study on how an Aboriginal people are currently inputting and using a GIS representation of their territory with proper toponymy and use areas.

What, Exactly, Does “Unceded Territory” Even Mean?

Ethics, Ecology and Sovereignty - The Renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty 
Inland FoodWise Online Journal, Nov. 2021

Indigenous Villages of the Pacific Northwest.

Map of Sinixt Ancestral Lands