“This is the story about a ghost people who live in a ghost territory.” Thus begins this richly documented history of the struggle for recognition of the Sinixt, one of Canada’s indigenous peoples. While other indigenous peoples have legal rights, the Sinixt have none, because they are officially extinct. But the fact is they’re still there.
Passionate Sinixt matriarch and activist Marilyn James is among those who have been fighting for decades to correct this injustice and bring about a cultural revival. Archaeological research, fierce protests and complicated lawsuits have already brought results and new awareness, but the battle is not yet over. The fact that part of the Sinixt territory is in the United States further curtails their freedom.
The work of filmmaker Ali Kazimi deals with race, social justice, migration and history. He has followed the bizarre story of the Sinixt since 1995 and now interweaves his own recordings, archive footage, home movies and meetings with those involved to create a wide panorama. The magnificent landscapes feature prominently as a backdrop.