Archaeologists Uncover Markers of an 'Extinct' Ancient Tribe on Contested Land

Reviving British Columbia's 'Extinct' Sinixt Band 1

Courtesy of Nathan Goodale

Marilyn James, spokeswoman for the Sinixt First Nation, discusses the use of grinding stones and plant foods by her people in the past. She is among the activists who hope Hamilton College anthropologists can prove Sinixt claims to ancestral territory in British Columbia.

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close Reviving British Columbia's 'Extinct' Sinixt Band 1

Courtesy of Nathan Goodale

Marilyn James, spokeswoman for the Sinixt First Nation, discusses the use of grinding stones and plant foods by her people in the past. She is among the activists who hope Hamilton College anthropologists can prove Sinixt claims to ancestral territory in British Columbia.

Here on the banks of the Slocan River, it takes imagination to envision the 32 domed, earth-covered pit-houses that constituted a village 3,000 years ago.

Little more than concave indentations now mark where they stood. Nathan Goodale is standing beside one that is some 75 feet across, as big, he says, as the pit-houses got in the interior Northwest. It was dug in 12 feet, and would have stood 25 feet tall at its center.

"It dates to about 2,700 years ago," says Mr. Goodale,