Cis Dideen Kat, When the Plumes Rise: The Way of the Lake by Betty Patrick

By Betty Patrick

Winner of the 2013 Washington kingdom ebook Award in Poetry.

This ebook examines the Lake Babine kingdom in north imperative British Columbia, contemplating its conventional criminal order and how that order determines the people’s identification and the character in their involvement in present treaty negotiations.

Changing relatives among the Natives and the Canadian nation have led to a brand new know-how of frequent felony orders. whereas such orders are usually noticeable as a technique during which the country can accommodate various techniques to judicial equity and social justice, in addition they provide the potential during which aboriginal international locations can retain their id via maintaining an ethical order in a practicable, self-defined, and self-governed neighborhood. For the Lake Babine kingdom, this ethical order is outlined via and lived throughout the feasting advanced often called the bahlats, or potlatch process.

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Extra info for Cis Dideen Kat, When the Plumes Rise: The Way of the Lake Babine Nation

Example text

Colonial history is a story of cultural disruption, territorial loss, and social subjugation, and it is the context within which Babine elders and chiefs have sought to sustain the integrity of their traditional legal order. From the colonial imposition of European place names through to renaming the people themselves, Babine history has been an enduring struggle to retain and to regain social and political autonomy. Traditional and contemporary economic and settlement patterns are best understood within the context of this struggle, which is led today, as it has been in the past, by hereditary chiefs whose authority and legal powers reside in the principles by which the nation is organized into four matrilineal clans.

In the 1950s, the RCMP set up “roadblocks” along the lake to catch illegal alcohol traders (this was long before roads reached the village). Today all Babine communities have resident alcohol and drug counsellors, and community members are encouraged to attend detoxification centres, to take treatments, and to join Alcoholics Anonymous. Despite the ever-growing network of logging roads and bridges, Fort Babine remains isolated from the rest of the Babine Nation. Fort Kilmaurs, now known as Old Fort, or Nedo ats (“Outside the White man they stay”), emerged at its present site in the 1820s, when families in the nearby area established a community next to the trading post.

E. Loring. In consequence, the DIA drew administrative boundaries that joined the Babine and the Witsuwit’en in a single unit – the Hagwilget. Initial assignment of reserves to the Hagwilget, as the various communities were collectively labelled, created questions as to The Four-Clan Nation which communities and Indian bands had legitimate claims (as defined by DIA records) to specific lands. Loss of traditional lands that were later used for community living created more problems. In the 1950s, sawmills were built at Pendleton Bay, on the shore of Lake Babine, and a community quickly grew.

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