Marilyn James was appointed by Matriarchs as spokesperson for the Sinixt Nation in Canada in the 1990s. Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ (homeland) is crossed by the Canada-U.S. border, with 80 percent of Sinixt traditional territory in what is now called British Columbia, Canada. The Canadian government deemed Sinixt “extinct for purposes of the Indian Act” in 1956, an official designation that persists to this day. Sinixt in the United States are recognized as one of twelve Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington State.

As spokesperson for Sinixt in Canada, Marilyn repatriated sixty-four ancestral remains from museums and collections back to Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ. To this day, she continues her work as Sinixt Smum’iem Matriarch and knowledge keeper. Marilyn is also an accomplished storyteller of traditional and contemporary Sinixt stories, as well as the coauthor of Not Extinct: Keeping the Sinixt Way (2021). In addition, Marilyn holds a master of education and works extensively in...

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