This narrative essay discusses the transformative nature of colonialism in the creation of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park by highlighting how the creation of the park simultaneously tokenizes and erases Indigenous presence on the land and in the waters. Taking up themes of alienation and everyday violence, this essay considers the use of stereotypical notions of Indigeneity in the campaign to save the Stein and how this impacted the way that Nlaka’pamux communities relate to the park today. In doing so, this paper also brings into question the complexities of settler allyship and their potential cooptation of Indigenous assertions of jurisdiction when settlers recenter themselves in the struggle.

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