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A message from tourism revelstoke

We recognize September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. We honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

In Revelstoke, we are proud to live, work, and adventure on the territories of the Sinixt, the Secwepemc, the Syilx and the Ktunaxa Peoples. We are increasing our efforts to educate ourselves, our visitors, and our community about our region’s Indigenous history. We recognize that this is an area in which we have ample room for improvement.

As part of our efforts, we have created a page on our website to showcase some of the resources that were developed as a part of National Indigenous Peoples Day in 2021. We encourage our visitors and residents to explore these resources and to take to reflect on the painful history of Canada’s First Nations Peoples.

We are committed to the ongoing work of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.

Learn the History of Indigenous Peoples in Revelstoke.

Revelstoke Museum and Archives presents a talk by Cathy English, curator of Revelstoke Museum and Archives, and Laura Stovel, author of Swift River.

There are four Nations that claim Revelstoke as part of their territory: the Sinixt, the Secwepemc, the Syilx, and the Ktunaxa.

Sinixt Nation

Sinixt Nation is the collective group of indigenous human beings who are the sovereign indigenous caretakers of Sinixt tum-ula7xw (mother-earth), located in the area now known as the interior plateau of BC, Canada. Sinixt territory extends north of Revelstoke, crosses international boundaries to Kettle Falls, Washington in the south, to the Monashee Ridge in the west, and in the east and is traditionally all the way from the Rocky Mountain Ridge encompassing the entirety of the headwaters of the "shwan-etk-qwa" (Columbia River). Sinixt Nation are the traditional gatekeepers to the lands which lead to the grease trails to Blackfoot territory to the east.

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Secwepemc Nation

The Secwepemc People, known by non-natives as the Shuswap, are a Nation of 17 bands occupying the south-central part of the Province of British Columbia, Canada. The ancestors of the Secwepemc people have lived in the interior of BC for at least 10,000 years. This territory stretches from the Columbia River valley along the Rocky Mountains, west to the Fraser River, and south to the Arrow Lakes. Most Secwepemc people live in the river valleys.

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Syilx People of the Okanagan Nation

The Syilx People are a transboundary tribe separated at the 49th parallel by the border between Canada and the United States. The Nation is comprised of seven member communities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia: Okanagan Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Penticton Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Upper, and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands, and Westbank First Nation; and in Northern Washington State, the Colville Confederated Tribes. Their members share the same land, nsyilxcən language, culture, and customs. They are a distinct and sovereign Nation.

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Ktunaxa nation

Ktunaxa (pronounced ‘k-too-nah-ha’) people have occupied the lands adjacent to the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia, Canada for more than 10,000 years. The Traditional Territory of the Ktunaxa Nation covers approximately 70,000 square kilometers within the Kootenay region of south-eastern British Columbia and historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington, and Idaho.

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“The water is red on the Sinixt map of the təmxʷúlaʔxʷ because water is the blood of all life. Thank the water, spend time with the water, think about the importance of water in sustaining all life and what you can do to protect it for future generations.”

Marilyn James, Sinixt Nation

Learn the Languages of This Land: Fourteen words that open doors.

Art Revelstoke has put together short videos from educators of the Sinixt, Secwepemc, Suknaquin (Okanagan)/Syilx, and Ktunaxa Nations. Learn the words for ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ and how to pronounce the names of their nations properly.

Visit Arts Revelstoke's YouTube channel for more.

Secwepemc Teacher: Louis Thomas

Sinixt & Okanagan Teachers: LaRae Wiley and Christopher Parkin

Ktunaxa Teacher: Aiyana Twigg

properly acknowledge the land we occupy.

We acknowledge and honour the four nations on whose land we live, work and adventure: the Sinixt, the Secwepemc, the Syilx and the Ktunaxa.

The Aboriginal Friendship Society of Revelstoke offers guidance on the importance of land acknowledgments:

Why do we acknowledge the nations on whose territory we live & how do we keep the acknowledgment meaningful?

When we acknowledge territory we recognize that in fact people did live here, that those peoples still have stories about this land and feel strong connections to this area. We resist making those first peoples invisible. We are also making a gesture of reconciliation for past wrongs; this is not to shame people who are living here now, it is merely recognizing the historical fact that other people lost their homes, sometimes violently, and we now live where they once did.

Land acknowledgment is merely a starting point. Ask yourself: how do I plan to take action to support Indigenous communities?

Support authentic indigenous businesses, experiences, artists, and events.

The following organizations in Revelstoke display, promote, and support authentic indigenous businesses, artists, events, and/or tools for learning about the Sinixt, the Secwepemc, the Syilx, and the Ktunaxa, along with other North American indigenous peoples.

Aboriginal Friendship Society of Revelstoke

Arts Revelstoke

ArtFirst! Gallery

BC Interior Forestry Museum

Revelstoke Museum and Archives

Revelstoke Railway Museum

Revelstoke Visual Art Center

mount begbie revelstoke
What do the Sinixt Nation call Mount Begbie?

Marilyn James, a spokesperson for the Sinixt nation, spoke with other elders that said the mountain shared the name of a former nearby Indigenous village in Revelstoke called Skixik-n. She noted this was probably only one of the names of the mountain as each nation had its own.

Columbia River Revelstoke
How did The Columbia River Come To Be?

"This story is about a time long ago, so long ago that there was no Columbia River and next to nothing alive on the landscape. Sin-ka-lip (Coyote) was wandering around looking for something to eat..."

Read the full story told by Marilyn James, Sinixt Nation on how the Columbia River came to be.