2022 brings the launch of Not Extinct - A Sinixt Virtual Exhibit, an interactive website based on the book, Not Extinct: Keeping the Sinixt Way by Marilyn James and Taress Alexis that features traditional and contemporary Sinixt stories. Each story illuminates the Sinixt relationship with the upper Columbia River watershed and the Sinixt quest to reclaim their rights and responsibilities in their x̌aʔx̌aʔ təmxʷúlaʔxʷ, their sacred homeland.
The website, which features storytelling and art, is a collaboration between the Blood of Life Collective (BoLC) and the Slocan Valley Community Arts Council (SVCAC), inspired by the Not Extinct exhibit curated by Tim van Wijk at Gallery 2 in Grand Forks. The site was designed by Brainflex.
The seeds of this project were sown in 2020 when SVCAC proposed hosting the Not Extinct exhibition which had been shown at Gallery 2, Grand Forks in 2019. As plans to host a physical exhibition became impossible, SVCAC and BoLC instead decided to create a dedicated, interactive website that would feature both the visual and audio components of the physical exhibition.
One exciting new addition to the virtual experience of the book is the Language page which is part of the T'kikstn Language Revitalization Project. T'kikstn - which means walking stick in Snslxcin - represents the work of bringing the language of the Sinixt back to the land that birthed it. T'kiktsn has been funded by the First Peoples' Cultural Council and Heritage Canada.
“ These first twenty words which you can learn by listening to on the site, is the beginning of bringing back the language of this land, to this land,” noted BoLC member, K.L. Kivi. “It’s an exciting resource that we will continue to build on.”
SVCAC and BoLC would like to send gratitude to Sinixt storytellers Marilyn James and Taress Alexis, to the regional artists whose illustrations accompany each story, the BC Arts Council, T'kikstn Language Project, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, Heritage Canada, Maa Press, Kootenay Coop Radio, Andrea Levin, and to Tim van Wijk for their support of this project.
Not Extinct: Keeping the Sinixt Way, by Marilyn James and Taress Alexis, is available on the Maa Press website: maapress.ca or your favourite local bookstore or gift shop.