Canoe journey crosses colonial border, upholding syilx sovereignty: `this is still our territory’

By Aaron Hemens  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter For the 22nd year in a row, syilx Okanagan people took a canoe journey across the invisible border between “Canada” and the “United States” that divides their territory, challenging a colonial marker that continues to infringe upon their unceded homelands. Dozens of pullers hauled at least 10 boats, including several dugout canoes, to the shore of nk’mip (Osoyoos Lake) in sw?iw?s (Osoyoos) in syilx homelands on Tuesday. The group sailed through the lake’s waters on the way to Oroville, Washington, before returning later in the day. When the vessels crossed the border, the pullers did so on their terms without checking in with guards _ exercising their rights under the historic Jay Treaty, which guarantees Indigenous people the free right to travel between…

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