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Chu tesh ha timiux "he worked hard on the land" : the story of Joeyaska 1999

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Chu Tesh Ha Timiux "HE WORKED HARD ON THE LAND" THE STORY OF JOEYASKA by Mary Jane Joe (Nk-Xetko) B.Ed., The University of British Columbia, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES (TS'KEL PROGRAM) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard: The University of British Columbia October 1999 © Mary Jane Joe In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of JzeXu-Ca-Jri ouxct I Sfu-cli e<{ - The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This paper provides a h i s t o r y of my great grandfather, Joeyaska; who he was, where he came from, and how he came to acquire 320 acres of land i n 1878 near M e r r i t t , i n the i n t e r i o r of B r i t i s h Columbia. Joeyaska was considered a Stuwix. From a l l that i s known, Joeyaska was a Stuwix from the Athapaskan group. Joeyaska a warrior, a survivor, a horseman, a family man and protector of h i s r i g h t s passed on to h i s c h i l d r e n and grandchildren h i s land. Who are the descendants of Joeyaska and what are we doing today i n the threat of encroachment by the chief and council of the Lower Nicola Band. How are we defending and carrying on t r a d i t i o n a l land r i g h t s and p r a c t i s e s . This paper i a compilation of o r a l t r a d i t i o n and documented h i s t o r y on Joeyaska, our great grandfather. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Kuschemx (Thank You) to Dr. Michael Marker, Director of the Ts'kel Graduate Program and to my thesis committee, Dr. Jean Barman and Dr. Sue Ann Alderson fo r allowing me the freedom to pursue the story of my great grandfather. Many thanks to my mother Sophie S t e r l i n g f o r sharing knowledge and s t o r i e s with me. I l i f t my hands i n thanks to my husband Wayne Campbell. To my brothers and s i s t e r s , nieces and nephews, friends and r e l a t i v e s , your prayers sustained me and your i n s i g h t s c a r r i e d me. Hia en swowkuk (My heart i s happy) because of you. DEDICATION I am pleased to dedicate t h i s thesis to the memory of Joeyaska and a l l the work that he d i d on his land. May his s p i r i t of i n t e g r i t y , persistence and determination l i v e on to carry us into the future i v TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i v INTRODUCTION 1 1.1 Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 3 1. 2 Oral T r a d i t i o n 6 1.3 L i f e at Home 13 CHAPTER I 17 1.1 Names 18 1.2 The Story of Joeyaska' s Escape 21 1.3 Joeyaska Se t t l e d at Nicola Lake 24 CHAPTER II 31 2.1 S t o r y t e l l i n g and Oral T r a d i t i o n 34 2.2 Land Allotments 40 2.3 Joeyaska Got His Land 43 CHAPTER III 44 3.1 Subsistence As A Way Of L i f e 48 3.2Cultural Traditions 56 CHAPTER IV 61 4.1 War Veteran Albert S t e r l i n g 65 4.2Joeyaska-Land In Dispute 72 CHAPTER V 77 5.1 Family Members 78 CONCLUSION 95 Bibliography 101 INTRODUCTION Without a story you have not got a nation or a culture, or a c i v i l i z a t i o n . Without a story of your own to l i v e you haven't got a l i f e of your own. (Keepers of L i f e Caduto & Bruchac 1994, p.12) In J u l y 1999 I went home to pick saskatoon b e r r i e s with my mother and my s i s t e r s . "Home" i s at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 near the town of Me r r i t t , i n the i n t e r i o r of B r i t i s h Columbia. J u l i e Cruikshank (1991) states, "...indigenous place names l i n k people and t h e i r s t o r i e s to place." (p.110) Picking saskatoons at Joeyaska has been a t r a d i t i o n f o r my mother since she f i r s t moved to Joeyaska i n 1935 when she married my father the l a t e Albert Frederick S t e r l i n g , son of Sarah S t e r l i n g , nee Joeyaska, daughter of Joeyaska and Martha or Bueltko. In the month of J u l y every year since anyone can remember, someone has been picking berries on the land of Joeyaska. My mother's mother-in-law Sarah Joeyaska picked b e r r i e s as her parents Joeyaska and Bueltko d i d before her. This i s the story of Joeyaska the man who made i t h i s home i n the 1880's during those years of change and uncertainty f or I n t e r i o r S a l i s h F i r s t Nations. Through persistence and determination he sought a f t e r and acquired the p l o t of land that has come to be known as Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2, home of the S t e r l i n g family. My s i s t e r s and I, our children, and now the grandchildren carry on t h i s t r a d i t i o n of picki n g saskatoon 1 b e r r i e s at Joeyaska. Our great grandfather i n i t i a t e d the t r a d i t i o n of occupying and l i v i n g o ff the land, we continue i n that t r a d i t i o n . Thomas Berger, author of V i l l a g e Journey (1985) described subsistence patterns among Alaskan natives that very c l o s e l y resemble our own. Subsistence a c t i v i t i e s l i n k the generations and the extended family into a complex network of associations, r i g h t s , and obligations, (p.52) Saskatoon ber r i e s have always been a very important food source f o r the Ntla'kapmux people. They continue to be valued f o r t h e i r taste, nutrients, vitamins and i t i s ju s t p l a i n fun to go picking with family. It i s during these food-gathering times that v i s i t i n g occurs, catching up on what's happening and sharing good s t o r i e s and being together. We share family t i e s and we share t i e s to the land as well as t i e s to our grandfathers. Berger elaborated further on harvesting cycles, This network both r e f l e c t s and re-creates the s o c i a l order and gives meaning and value to each person's contribution and rewards, (p.52) This thesis w i l l present the ways one family, my family, the S t e r l i n g s , stay i n touch with each other. It describes how those t r a d i t i o n a l and family t i e s that we have with each other give meaning and value to those connections which are strongly l i n k e d to our land, and to the man known as Joeyaska a f t e r whom the land was named. I w i l l trace the h i s t o r y of Joeyaska the warrior, our great grandfather, and answer these questions: where d i d he come from and how d i d he came to acquire the 320 acre p l o t of 2 land named a f t e r him? Who are h i s descendants and how do we carry on i n h i s t r a d i t i o n s today? My thesis includes o r a l h i s t o r y passed on to me from my parents and s i b l i n g s . Jan Vansina (1985) stated. The expression 'oral t r a d i t i o n ' applies both to a process and to i t s product. The products are o r a l messages based on previous o r a l messages at l e a s t a generation o l d . The process i s the transmission of such messages by word of mouth over time... (p.3) It i s a t r a d i t i o n among the S t e r l i n g family to r e l a t e with each other through s t o r y t e l l i n g and o r a l t r a d i t i o n u s u a l l y around the kitchen table. Pueblo o r a l t r a d i t i o n describes our experience at family gatherings. "Voice, emphasis, tone, rhythm, f a c i a l expressions with gesture, atmosphere, and many other things a l l convey meaning and nuance." (Peterson 1984, p.44) It i s a t r a d i t i o n now continuing with the fourth and f i f t h generation from the time of Joeyaska. Woven i n and among the s t o r i e s of t h i s s t o r y t e l l i n g t r a d i t i o n comes a r e s t o r a t i o n process, one which includes the reclaiming of s e l f - i d e n t i t y , family t i e s , family h i s t o r y and strong t i e s to the land. Those are the very things that past governmental p o l i c i e s attempted to destroy through a s s i m i l a t i o n p o l i c i e s and through the r e s i d e n t i a l schools. Connections to each other and to our heritage have now become the strength that helps us to survive and brings us together. Information written by h i s t o r i a n s , land commissioners, missionaries and anthropologists located at the UBC Archives, and information located at the Indian Lands O f f i c e i n 3 Vancouver w i l l form the documented h i s t o r y which contributed to a major part of t h i s paper. I w i l l give an out l i n e of the people who l i v e at Joeyaska today because i t i s our home, our inheritance from my father, i n essence an inheritance from the man known as Joeyaska. There are two main reasons I'm gi v i n g voice to our hi s t o r y . The f i r s t i s that I am gi v i n g honor to my l a t e father and to h i s grandfather, the two men who l i v e d and worked on the land over an extended period of time. They valued the land and protected i t to the best of t h e i r a b i l i t y ; Joeyaska acquired the land and pe r s i s t e d i n protecting h i s rights on the land, and my father c a r r i e d on i n the t r a d i t i o n of working on and protecting the land f o r over 50 years. My paper i s based on o r a l t r a d i t i o n and o r a l accounts. In the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia, i n 1997 DELGAMUUKW vs. HER MAJESTRY THE QUEEN, o r a l t r a d i t i o n was accepted as evidence. For the f i r s t time the courts gave o r a l t r a d i t i o n recognition as being v a l i d evidence. The second purpose i s to strengthen the S t e r l i n g family's claim to Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. The Department of Indian A f f a i r s (DIA) amalgamated Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 with the Lower Nicola Indian Band i n 1938. The Lower Nicola Indian Band has plans to b u i l d a gambling casino on the portion c a l l e d Joeyaska North because they believe that Joeyaska Indian Reserve i s part of the Lower Nicola Band, not S t e r l i n g property, and as such i s ava i l a b l e f o r development by the band without consultation or permission from the 4 S t e r l i n g s . DIA recognizes a l l F i r s t Nations land as belonging to the Crown and land issues on reserve are complex because two disparate land ownership concepts; private ownership and c o l l e c t i v e ownership are i n c o n f l i c t and need to be resolved. In cases where land disputes a r i s e , o r a l t r a d i t i o n could be used to argue that Aboriginal t i t l e does e x i s t . The o r a l accounts of our ancestors w i l l help, serve and resolve these disputes. The h i s t o r y I learned i n school d i d not include anything about Ntla'kapmux people. Our s t o r i e s have been overlooked or recorded i n someone else's voice. It i s time to change that. Today there i s an emphasis on t e l l i n g the s t o r i e s of our people. As I peruse the l i s t of conference themes f o r 1999 I see that s t o r y t e l l i n g , w r i t i ng t r i b a l h i s t o r i e s and g i v i n g voice are included as important topics, f o r example, M u l t i - C u l t u r a l S t o r y t e l l i n g (Education/Focus '99 V i c t o r i a , B.C.), Who Speaks For Whom? (EDST Re-Search Programme A p r i l 1999 UBC), Researching and Writing T r i b a l H i s t o r i e s (June 1999 Norman Oklahoma), Stories Are Our Salmon (The R e v i t a l i z a t i o n of Aboriginal Societies July 1999 SFU). In g i v i n g voice to the ways we carry on Ntla'kapmux t r a d i t i o n s and our use of the land at Joeyaska I am not only describing the value we place on the land today by our present a c t i v i t i e s , but emphasizing the important r e s p o n s i b i l i t y we have i n taking care of the land f o r the next generation. I am g i v i n g voice to a t r a d i t i o n established by our great grandfather, Joeyaska. This 5 t r a d i t i o n has been passed on to me by means of s t o r y t e l l i n g and the example set by our elders and ancestors, and now has become my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . I w i l l carry out t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y by learning a l l I can and by writing about i t i n t h i s thesis to share with others and pass i t on. Two types of o r a l t r a d i t i o n i n the Ntla'kapmux language are "speta'kl," r e f e r r i n g to creation s t o r i e s , and "spilaxem," which means news or information. The Thompson/ Ntla'kapmux Dictionary (1996) defines the word f o r t r u t h as: "pilex-m", a root word "pelx" means to t e l l or to inform. A der i v a t i v e "xek" means to f i n d out the truth, the expression, "xe?-e" means, as you can see, or, the tr u t h i s obvious. (Thompson & Thompson p.1279) I w i l l feature "spilaxem" because the information I have received represents f a c t s , h i s t o r y and tr u t h to me. My main source of "spilaxem" comes from my mother Sophie S t e r l i n g and from my s i b l i n g s who heard the information and personal memories from my father. I w i l l be using r e l a t e d l i t e r a t u r e and the testimony of elders who spoke about the man known as Joeyaska. The work of Sh i r l e y S t e r l i n g The Grandmother St o r i e s : Oral T r a d i t i o n and The Transmission of Culture (1997) in s p i r e d my use of the narratives and s t o r i e s which have been passed on to me from former generations. She stated, "Oral Traditions are one of the most e f f e c t i v e methods of Nlakapmux education and they can restore relevance to what and how we teach Nlakapamux and other learners i n the classroom today." S t e r l i n g (1997) From o r a l t r a d i t i o n and 6 s t o r y t e l l i n g we gain knowledge and understanding of our roles i n the family and our roles i n the community. This awareness helps teach respect f o r each other and f o r the land we l i v e on. My hope i s that o r a l t r a d i t i o n s can help restore relevance within the p o l i t i c a l framework of the Lower N i c o l a Indian Band as well. The Lower N i c o l a Band possesses 18,000 acres compared to 320 acres at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. Some of the main questions many F i r s t Nations educators attempt to answer regarding a s t a r t i n g place i n education have been voiced by Ntla'kapmux educator, the l a t e Robert S t e r l i n g Sr. i n 1985. He asked three questions as f i r s t steps i n the greater v i s i o n represented i n education, 1. Who am I? 2. Where do I come from? 3. Where am I going? The p o l i c y paper presented to the Minister of Indian A f f a i r s and Northern Development i n 1972 by the National Indian Brotherhood stated, Unless a c h i l d learns about the forces which shape him: the h i s t o r y of h i s people, t h e i r values and customs, t h e i r languages he w i l l never r e a l l y know himself or h i s po t e n t i a l as a human being. (p.9) When answering the question of who I am, i t i s necessary that I e s t a b l i s h my i d e n t i t y . My name i s Nk Xetko, my nation i s Ntla'kapmux, my family are the St e r l i n g s of Joeyaska. I come from the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. My h i s t o r y includes twelve years of separation from family, home, and time spent at an Indian r e s i d e n t i a l school. There 7 my true i d e n t i t y was replaced by a number and a new name. The p o l i c y paper about the Indian c h i l d learning about h i s heritage adds, "The lessons he learns i n school, h i s whole school experience should reinforce and contribute to the image he has of himself." (p9) This d i d not happen f o r me i n school. I had much to learn and much to r e p a i r . In the years following graduation from school I have had to journey back to t r a d i t i o n a l ways and family teachings taking those steps which helped restore that which had been separated and l o s t to me, such as the i d e n t i t y I was born into, my name, my culture and heritage. The second question, where do I come from, establishes my i d e n t i t y and connection to family and place. Tracing the h i s t o r y of my home at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 included researching my great grandfather Joeyaska, the i n d i v i d u a l , and subsequently the land named a f t e r him, the property that we c a l l home. This inquiry included the means by which my father i n h e r i t e d t h i s property and what he d i d to prove that Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 was indeed h i s home. The t h i r d question, where am I going, states that my mother, brothers, s i s t e r s , nieces, nephews and myself i n h e r i t e d the land known as Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2, we l i v e there, we c a l l i t home and carry on i n the t r a d i t i o n s set by my father and h i s grandfather before him. I am not separate and alone i n my love for the land. I do not want something apart from what my family wants, i t i s a c o l l e c t i v e desire, the goal to protect the land as best we can l i n e s up 8 with our dad and his grandfather's goals; to l i v e i n a safe environment today and to ensure that i t i s a safe environment f o r future generations. A l l of the questions; Who am I, where do I come from, and where am I going have answers which can be d i r e c t l y traced back to our great grandfather Joeyaska. How do I know what the rest of my family wants f o r Joeyaska? I know because I keep i n touch with them, we share thoughts and feeli n g s as well as hopes and dreams. Whatever information I have about the land gets passed on. We take our 'discourse' together very s e r i o u s l y and consider i t to be a very powerful and enabling form of human communication. The Random House Dictionary (1980) defines discourse as: communication of thought by words, a formal discussion of a subject i n speech or writing, to t a l k or converse, to trea t a subject formally i n speech or writing. (p250) Riddington (1990) wrote, "Human communication i s a c u l t u r a l accomplishment and a means of defi n i n g c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y . " (p.189) I am affe c t e d by the powerful discourse of others. When tr u t h i s spoken and I hear i t , something happens within me and that power acts upon and regulates my forming of myself. For example the r e s i d e n t i a l school system f o r c i b l y removed my voice, my power and caused me to f e e l shame about my heritage. Through a gradual series of steps I have been regaining the important things that once were l o s t such as family history, culture and language. I get to know the dad 9 who was separated from me for years. I have since learned that my father was not only a warrior, a rancher, a veteran and an i n t e r p r e t e r , but he c a r r i e d on i n s p i r i t u a l t r a d i t i o n s as well. My l a t e brother Robert S t e r l i n g sang a drum song at a family gathering i n 1982. Hearing my father's song for the f i r s t time had a transformative e f f e c t on my l i f e . My father's song was powerful, i t sounded l i k e the song of a warrior. H i s t o r i a n William Powers (1986) wrote, The Oglala medicine men c a l l t h i s transformation 'blessing' a process whereby the sacred state of one object or being i s transferred to the sacred state of another through the proper r i t u a l , (p.23) I can say that the sacred states found i n di s c u r s i v e t r a d i t i o n s of our Ntla'kapmux family have had a healing e f f e c t upon me. Where d i d my father learn about singing drum songs? My mother s a i d he learned from his grandfather. To hear about the h i s t o r y and the teachings of Joeyaska i n an atmosphere of respect and t r u t h has been part of the r e s t o r a t i o n process. It becomes not only a p o s i t i v e impact but an empowering one as well. I have l i v e d on the land acquired through pre- emption. I see the i r r i g a t i o n ditches, the fences, the c o r r a l , the barn, they are there today. Joeyaska's e f f o r t s are evident today, they serve to sustain and strengthen me. My thesis statement i s t h i s . Albert S t e r l i n g ' s c h i l d r e n have a r i g h t to occupy and u t i l i z e the land known as Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. Along with that r i g h t comes the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to be good stewards of the land to do a l l we can to safeguard and protect the land against e x p l o i t a t i o n . 10 In discourse I have the power to a f f e c t others and i n t h i s written discourse I have an opportunity to help restore the emphasis that t h i s land known as Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 i s our home, i t i s a treasured inheritance from our great grandfather. When I learn my history, rights and p r i v i l e d g e s I can follow i n the footsteps and maintain t r a d i t i o n s set by those who blazed the t r a i l before me. In doing so I can ensure that my actions are worthy of t h e i r approval. This i s s i g n i f i c a n t because i t sets a standard, a standard that by combining o r a l t r a d i t i o n with educational knowledge, one family, the S t e r l i n g family can use the best of both worlds to protect a b i r t h r i g h t . This thesis w i l l voice those standards which can best be defined as, honoring the family, becoming educated, learning the laws, e s t a b l i s h i n g strong work ethics, promoting c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s and values. By o u t l i n i n g who I am, where do I come from and where am I going, I am making a statement which r e f l e c t s not only my i d e n t i t y but my philosophical outlook as well. My i d e n t i t y includes strong family t i e s on Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. It i s a message to the world that I stand with my family to value family t r a d i t i o n . We have a high regard f o r our home and we w i l l do everything we can to make sure Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 i s a safe place to l i v e , and that our r i g h t s are protected. By painting a picture of how my father and h i s grandfather loved the land I want to show how t h e i r warrior s p i r i t s included a commitment to and the protection of the 11 land. By caring for the land and by being good providers for t h e i r f a m i l i e s on the land, I want to expose t h i s noteworthy t r a i t as having survived to the s i x t h generation. This philosophy of caring and committment practised and handed down by my father Albert S t e r l i n g and h i s grandfather Joeyaska are e s p e c i a l l y important. Former d i s t o r t e d r e s i d e n t i a l school teachings forced me to believe that my heritage was not worthy of honor or respect. For example, J.S.Frideres (1978) wrote, These schools attempted to separate the c h i l d from h i s parents and community because they were not 'good' influences on the c h i l d r e n with regard to pursuing 'academic' careers, (p.32) I can a t t e s t to the forced a l i e n a t i o n and trauma i n having been cut o f f from family and culture i n the pursuit of academic education and how i t created the personal c r i s i s of l o s s . Loss of family and loss of i d e n t i t y . I remember crying myself to sleep every night at the r e s i d e n t i a l school during my f i r s t four years there. However, my father saw the importance of a good education and made sure I didn't quit school at age 16 when so many of my classmates who were d i s i l l u s i o n e d with l i f e at school e i t h e r ran away from school or stayed home with t h e i r parents' permission. I endured the d i f f i c u l t times at r e s i d e n t i a l school by working hard, keeping busy reading, and thinking about the family times that gave my l i f e meaning at home. As I r e c a l l , my father's work on the land was continual. He cut hay, hunted, mended fences, made horse shoes, repaired 12 harnesses, branded calves. As children, we helped or sometimes accompanied our dad. One such occasion was the summer when I was ten years old, my father brought us along when he went to check the water-flow f o r one of h i s i r r i g a t i o n ditches and to check the state of the wild raspberries. Four of us rode two horses, my s i s t e r S h i r l e y and I rode Dixie, my younger brother Austin rode with Dad on his horse Baldy. L i f e at home was d i f f e r e n t than at school. There was no regimentation at home. It was natural to spend time with parents as they worked during the day and to help out. It was also natural to check out t r a d i t i o n a l foods that grew i n the wild, there were no formal lessons with p e n c i l and paper, parents modeled and showed by example the ways to survive. We observed and followed. In the History of the Nicola V a l l e y Indians (1979) i t i s written that. For centuries and even into the present l o c a l Native Indians possessed a hunting and gathering mentality... t r i b a l members were trained i n the p r o f i c i e n c i e s of recognizing foods, t r a i l s , dangers and the need f o r cooperative sharing. (S t e r l i n g p.39) We spent our l i v e s together doing the things that were necessary to stay a l i v e . There was very l i t t l e money to buy food. My father asserted h i s abor i g i n a l r i g h t s and fi s h e d and hunted when i t was against the law. He c a r r i e d that a step further and hunted f o r elders who needed meat. My mother t o l d me that when a l l of us ch i l d r e n went back to the r e s i d e n t i a l school i n the f a l l , my father brought a wagon 13 load of deer from the h i l l s f o r those who had no one to hunt f o r them. In our family, i t was expected that we pick and preserve our own foods. We learned about s u r v i v a l and family t i e s as opposed to memorizing academic texts i n i s o l a t i o n at Indian School. Oscar Kawagley (1995) summarized the confusing e f f e c t the imposed education system has had upon Native c h i l d r e n . The r a t i o n a l e behind r e s i d e n t i a l schools was to f a c i l i t a t e the s h i f t away from t h e i r languages and lifeways...a cataclysmic experience from which Native people are s t i l l struggling to recover, (p.37) When I research family h i s t o r y to safeguard i d e n t i t y and homeland, I am not only making meaning of my l i f e but I am shaping my destiny. Not too long ago many freedoms of F i r s t Nations had been f o r c i b l y taken from us, freedom to p r a c t i c e culture, speak our languages as well as ri g h t s such as voting, and the ri g h t to self-determination. Many of us are now aware of what has happened and are taking steps to make things better. Musqueam weaver Debra Sparrow said to me recently that she was glad that I am researching my father's land. You are honoring your father and great grandfather by what you do. As a people we are waking up to the t r u t h of what happened to us. When we wake up, i t ' s time to do the ri g h t thing. Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 has become 'land i n dispute' by the Lower Nicola Band. It i s not land i n dispute f o r the S t e r l i n g s . We know who acquired and worked on the land, our great grandfather, and we know who has the ri g h t to harvest the hay f i e l d s and to l i v e on and occupy the land. Deanna 14 S t e r l i n g wrote about the present attitu d e of the 1938 amalgamation of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 with the Lower Nicola Band whose members chaffed at accepting newcomers who spoke d i f f e r e n t languages. The d i s p a r i t y i s prevalent to t h i s day. The band wants to develop the Joeyaska lands which are adjacent to the newly constructed Coquihalla highway. The band i s interes t e d i n putting i n a complex including casino, shopping mall and gas stations, the l a t e s t of a long l i s t of other attempted developments over the decades on Joeyaska North and South. (1998 p.20) As a descendant of Joeyaska I can say no one has a r i g h t to the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 except the descendants of Joeyaska. We weren't just born there, but we worked on the land and helped out with ranching and farming chores as well. George Manual (1979) stated, The lands that belong to us by native t i t l e , and the compensation f o r our aboriginal r i g h t s , are our b i r t h r i g h t as the abor i g i n a l peoples of North America, (p.260) No one has the r i g h t to set foot on Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 without the permission of the S t e r l i n g family. I have gained t h i s knowledge through o r a l t r a d i t i o n and s t o r y t e l l i n g and through a r c h i v a l and land allotment documents. In answer to the question, where d i d the problem of land dispute begin? In 193 8 the Federal Government took over the a f f a i r s of Indian lands and reserves from the P r o v i n c i a l Government. I t was convenient for the Indian Agent to meet with a single chief and council when Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 was amalgamated with the Lower Ni c o l a Band. Formerly, Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 was separate, Joeyaska was the chief of h i s family clan. He was consulted by the 15 Indian Agent. With t h i s knowledge the S t e r l i n g family can "take up the burden of our h i s t o r y and set out on our journey," (Manuel 1979 p.261) to carry on i n the t r a d i t i o n of Joeyaska on the land he loved so well. In J u l y 1995 my art therapy i n s t r u c t o r Roberta Nadeau t o l d us the s i l e n t statement v i o l i n i s t Isaac Stern makes to the audience before he s t a r t s playing. In h i s mind he says, "I am here to t e l l you the tr u t h . " In the Ntla'kapmux language I say "Pel peepluxkin tk spilaxem" I am going to t e l l you my t r u t h . This i s the story of Joeyaska. 16 CHAPTER ONE Many of Canada's Indigenous people define themselves i n terms of the homelands that sustained t h e i r ancestors. These are the places where t h e i r s p i r i t u a l roots l i e . (Arthur Ray, 1996 p.l) En-jawa en-skwest Nk'xetko. (My name i s Nk'xetko). I come from the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. My parents are Sophie and the l a t e Albert S t e r l i n g . Fred S t e r l i n g and Austin S t e r l i n g are my brothers. Sarah Stewart, Deanna S t e r l i n g and Seepeetza are my s i s t e r s . There are numerous c h i l d r e n and grandchildren. We were a l l born i n Me r r i t t , have resided at Joeyaska and most of those Ste r l i n g s named continue to l i v e there and c a l l i t home. The St e r l i n g s are associated with the land at Joeyaska. A few of us have moved elsewhere, however, we return to family, and land because we have strong t i e s and connections; i t w i l l always be home to me. This chapter w i l l introduce Joeyaska, and his r e l a t i o n s h i p to my name and I w i l l draw a l i n k between my great grandfather and my name. I w i l l present the h i s t o r y of th i s man known as Joeyaska, who he was and why he chose to s e t t l e at Nicola Lake then move to Godey Canyon, now Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 . Words and s t o r i e s from parents and family members help e s t a b l i s h who I am i n r e l a t i o n to my place i n the family and where I come from. In essence, my i d e n t i t y . My father named me "Nk'xetko" at b i r t h , a f t e r a r e l a t i v e he'd heard about from the states. This statement about my name introduces a part of my father's heritage. Why d i d he have r e l a t i v e s i n 17 the States and who was he rela t e d to? I always f e l t that my father knew something funny about the name Nk'xetko because he usu a l l y chuckled whenever he spoke the name. When I was a teen at the r e s i d e n t i a l school one of my Ntla'kapmux classmates heard my name and t o l d me she thought the name meant "Water L i l y " . I asked my mother i f that were true, she laughed and sa i d no, that's not how to say water l i l y . Whenever I asked my mother or other elders what the name Nk'xetko meant, they always said the same thing, "We don't know what i t means, i t comes from a language i n the States. It ' s your father's r e l a t i v e s from across the l i n e . " We don't know what t r i b e Joeyaska came from i n the States, i t i s possible that he was e i t h e r Okanagan or Nez Perce from Washington State. A l l we know i s that he f l e d the United States Cavalry and s e t t l e d at Nicola Lake. The Handbook of American Indians Part 2 (1960) on names states that, "Personal names among Indians define or indic a t e the s o c i a l group i n t o which a man i s born." (Hodge p.16) My name would indicate that I was born into Joeyaska's group. Other family members have names from the Ntla'kapmux language and they can be translated, such as my s i s t e r Sarah's name, 1 T z u l - t z a - l i n e k , ' means 'huckleberry eyes'. My mothers name i s 'Lhi-lhetko' which means ' l i t t l e s q u i r t of water'. Hodge goes on to describe that t i t l e s or honorary names which f a l l i n to a d i f f e r e n t category require ceremony and feasts, but fo r the sake of bureaucratic e f f i c i e n c y , "...the o f f i c e of 18 Indian A f f a i r s has made an e f f o r t to systematize the names of some of the Indians for the purpose of f a c i l i t a t i n g land allotments etc." (p.18) For the purpose of baptismal records, r e g i s t r a t i o n with the Department of Indian A f f a i r s and being sent to r e s i d e n t i a l boarding school as well, our names were changed to C h r i s t i a n names. The Gage Canadian Dictionary (1983) defines a name as: The word or words by which an i n d i v i d u a l , person, group, animal, place or sometimes a thing i s known and spoken to or about, (p.759) My name was important to me because i t defined my place i n the family unit and i t established my place within the community. At r e s i d e n t i a l school the p o l i c y about names sought to remove those family connections from me by replacing my name Nk'xetko with a number, 39, and with a new name, Mary Jane. I had no way of knowing at age s i x that being forced to change my name from Nk'xetko to Mary Jane was part of the Canadian Government's rule of "English only" at r e s i d e n t i a l schools. John Boyko (1995) described such a rul e . A l l r e s i d e n t i a l school lessons were taught i n English. It was forbidden for any student to speak t h e i r language even i n pri v a t e conversations, (p.187) The rule applied to names as well. I t was quite a shocking experience having to give up one's name and have i t replaced by a C h r i s t i a n name and a number, however, despite a l l these new changes, I always considered myself to be Nk'xetko, great grand daughter of Joeyaska. I f e l t honored to be r e l a t e d to 19 him and to receive the name that was associated with h i s family of o r i g i n . Who was Joeyaska and where d i d he come from? These were always the questions that created mystery and wonderment among us grandchildren. A l l I knew about him was b i t s and pieces of information t o l d by my mother. For example, a f t e r my father was born i n 1896, "He l i v e d with h i s grandfather because h i s mother Sarah worked with her husband Charlie S t e r l i n g on the wagon roads hauling f r e i g h t between settlements." (Personal Communication) Baillargeon & Tepper (1998) describe t h i s l i f e s t y l e change from the "fur brigade to the pack t r a i n " f o r many I n t e r i o r t r i b a l people due to the demand f o r food, goods and transportation brought about by the gold rush. "The a r r i v a l of so many new people began the transformation of the economic base of Native people i n the southern i n t e r i o r from hunting and gathering to ranching, farming and wage labor." (p.100) Many changes came about f o r our people, i t was natural f o r grandparents to p i t c h i n and help r a i s e t h e i r grandchildren when necessary. Extended family i s very h e l p f u l i n times of need, I remember my grandmother helping r a i s e me because my own parents were so busy working on the land. I was t o l d that my father as a l i t t l e boy stayed with h i s grandfather Joeyaska at Nicola Lake. They l i v e d i n a winter lodge or 'shi-istken' and my father slept between h i s grandparents because he didn't have h i s own blanket and i t was cold during the winter. ( F i e l d Notes) Anglican 20 Missionary J.B. Good described going i n to a p i t house i n 1867. "These underground dwellings f o r winter occupation were d e l i g h t f u l places to enter on days when the wind was blowing f i e r c e l y from the north." ( E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Archives 1958 p.98) The story I heard my mother t e l l about Joeyaska i s that he was an American Indian, a warrior. Joeyaska, on horseback was being chased by the U.S. Cavalry i n the State of Washington. His horse stumbled, Joeyaska f e l l o f f . He quickly covered himself with d i r t , d r i e d leaves and pine needles. The horse ran o f f . Cavalry s o l d i e r s on t h e i r horses galloped over and around Joeyaska, they didn't see him. When i t was dark, Joeyaska found h i s horse and rode north i n t o the safety of Canada. He s e t t l e d at Nicola Lake. It i s not known exactly what year t h i s took place. I estimate that i t had to be i n the l a t e 1850's or the e a r l y 1860's. I have come to t h i s conclusion because my father was born i n 1896, he had a brother Eddy who was 10 years older than himself, h i s mother would have been born around 1868 allowing that she would have been at le a s t 18 years o l d when she married Charlie S t e r l i n g . Joeyaska would have taken up to ten years a f t e r the i n i t i a l cavalry chase to make h i s way to N i c o l a Lake and get s e t t l e d with wives and c h i l d r e n . The book Death Stalks the Yakima (1997) gives a pi c t u r e of the b i t t e r clashes and c o n f l i c t s between the plateau t r i b e s of Washington with the U.S. Cavalry i n the 1850's. C l i f f o r d Trafzer wrote, When two Yakama men murdered Indian Agent Andrew Jackson Bolon, the United States sent troops i n t o the Yakima Valley. Thus began a war which l a s t e d 21 i n t e r m i t t e n t l y from 1855-1858, ending i n disastrous consequences for Yakima people, (p.29) One of those consequences was being run out of one's homeland by the American s o l d i e r s when European s e t t l e r s began to occupy the t e r r i t o r y and prospectors mined the land. The book Native American Testimony (1991) described such a loss of land for Indian t r i b e s . "Between 1853 and 1857 Congress r a t i f i e d f i f t y - t w o t r e a t i e s by which t r i b e s l i v i n g i n Idaho, Oregon and Washington l o s t 157 m i l l i o n acres." (p.119) It i s a sad r e f l e c t i o n upon governments to draw up t r e a t i e s with t r i b e s i n the appearance of s e t t i n g up partnerships when i n r e a l i t y i t was a " c a l l for the Indians to move to the l e a s t f e r t i l e corner of t h e i r e x i s t i n g lands, abandon t h e i r homes and move elsewhere." (Nabakov p.118) Joeyaska among many others had no choice i n the matter. Baillargeon & Tepper (1998) present Nez Perce cowboy Jackson Sundown's s i m i l a r escape from American s o l d i e r s . Caught up i n the Nez Perce Wars of 1877 as a young teenager, Sundown survived the massacre at the Battle of Big Hole by hiding under buffalo robes i n a t i p i u n t i l the t i p i was set on f i r e . He escaped from the b a t t l e f i e l d at Bear Paw Mountain by c l i n g i n g to the side of h i s horse, remaining out of the s o l d i e r s ' sight. (P-191) The horse i n t h i s incident i s featured as a very important v e h i c l e for escape. Many F i r s t Nations owned and p r i z e d horses, which have been an important part of the l i f e s t y l e for Plains and Plateau cultures. Horses made l i f e easier with regard to "trading and hunting methods, expanding t e r r i t o r i a l occupancy, abor i g i n a l people became superb 22 equestrians." (p.24) Horses enhanced the l i v e s of men l i k e my great grand father Joeyaska, and Jackson Sundown among others. In these cases horses helped save t h e i r l i v e s . It i s documented that, "Sundown trave l e d wounded and without food, moccasins or blankets through the l a t e autumn cold." (pl91) He made i t to Chief S i t t i n g B u l l ' s v i l l a g e east of the Rocky Mountains i n Canada. P r i o r to 1870 two chiefs among the Nez Perce, Kamiahton and White Bird, escaped and f l e d to Canada when "The t r i b e was s t i l l r e e l i n g from the crushing defeat of Col. Wright. Their m i l i t a n t c hiefs Owhi and Qualchen had been k i l l e d . " (Drury 1979 p.266) One can see why Joeyaska f l e d to Canada during those v i o l e n t and uncertain times i n the States. Many unanswered questions remain as to why he chose to l i v e at Nicola Lake. Possibly i t was because the fur trade route ran along the plateau north from the Columbia River through the Okanagan V a l l e y up to Nicola. (Baillergeon & Teppen 1998, p.98) This was a popular route p r i o r to the fur trade as well f o r the procurement of food. H i s t o r i a n James T e i t described how I n t e r i o r t r i b e s gathered at Kettle F a l l s f o r the summer f i s h runs ; Many Lake (Okanagons) went down to near Marcus, Kettle F a l l s and other places along the Columbia on the confines of the C o l v i l l e . The chief salmon-fishing places i n the t e r r i t o r i e s of the Okanagon t r i b e s appear to have been i n the v i c i n i t y of Kettle F a l l s . (Smithsonian Report p.247) When my mother sa i d that Joeyaska spoke the Okanagan and the 23 Stuwix languages, t h i s strongly suggests that he had associations with the Okanagans and Stuwix already l i v i n g i n the N i c o l a Lake area. I t opened the way f o r him to s e t t l e i n a place where he was f a m i l i a r with the language of the people i n that v i c i n i t y . In any case, Joeyaska married i n t o and adopted the languages and customs of the people at Nic o l a Lake, some of whom were Ntla'kapmux. I heard that Joeyaska had four wives, one was Okanagan and one Ntla'kapmux, I'm uncertain as to which t r i b e and language the others belonged to. There i s documentation i n a book about Northwestern Tribes by Franz Boas that suggests Joeyaska to be "of the Thomson, Tinneh and of an Okanagan speaking branch of the In t e r i o r S a l i s h " when his assistant James T e i t went up to Nico l a Lake i n 1895 to see, One of the o l d men named Tcuieska or Shesulushkin, i s the f i r s t person of the NatlakyapamuQ whom I have seen tatooed i n the body. He i s one quarter Stuwi'HamuQ one quarter Okanagan and half Nkamtci'nemuQ. (p.32) How d i d I recognize t h i s i n d i v i d u a l as being my great grandfather? I know from o r a l t r a d i t i o n that Joeyaska was Stuwix. I immediately recognized the name Shesulushkin, i t was the name given to my eldest brother, the l a t e Robert William S t e r l i n g . Names were generally passed on from the ancestors to babies and kept within the family unit, and these were f a m i l i a r to everyone. In the Memoir of American History (1900) James T e i t gave an account of the "unity of the family through hereditary names. Each family had c e r t a i n names, and no one but members of the family were permitted to use them." (p.290) 24 An example of such a naming took place at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 i n J u l y 1997. Four of my nieces received names from my father's and mother's family. They c a l l e d i t an Ntla'kapmux Naming Ceremony. A f t e r researching our grandmothers, and aunts' names and receiving the approval from my mother that t h i s was ri g h t and correct, they c a l l e d family and friends together to witness the account. Opening prayers were said, g i f t s were given, the elders were acknowledged, food was shared, drum songs and s t o r i e s marked the occasion. I now know L i s a S t e r l i n g as Powtan'maalks, Janessa i s Kwistaz -Yetko, Jackie i s Kwil-kwilko and so on. It was a sp e c i a l and memorable occasion. T e i t c a l l e d i t "proclaiming before them the name by which the c h i l d i s to be known." (p.291) I know my brothers and s i s t e r s by t h e i r Indian names as well, no one else I know has the same names. When I read that James T e i t went to see Shesulushkin at Nicola I recognized Robert S t e r l i n g ' s name, and I knew the meaning, 'Red sun r i s i n g over the mountain.' T e i t wrote the name 'Tcuieska' which sounds l i k e an a n g l i c i z e d and e a r l i e r version of the name Joeyaska. When T e i t described that Joeyaska was Stuwix and Okanagan, I knew that was correct because my father spoke those languages as well as Ntla'kapmux. I asked my mother an Ntla'kapmux speaker, how d i d my father learn so many languages. She s a i d that my father learned Okanagan from h i s mother Sarah Joeyaska, he learned Stuwix from h i s grandfather Joeyaska, 25 and my father learned Ntla'kapmux from h i s grandmother Martha, or Bueltko who was Ntla'kapmux. I asked my mother i f she know that Joeyaska had been tatooed, her answer was, "Oh, that's probably r i g h t . Joeyaska had run away from the American army, he probably tatooed himself so no one would recognize him and make him go back there." It was a great t h r i l l f o r me to read something about Joeyaska from an encounter i n 1895. In looking i n t o the subject of tatooing i n the Smithsonian Report by James T e i t , he wrote that "Tatooing among the Thompson people, although done i n a large measure f o r ornament nevertheless was a l s o intimately connected with r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s of the people." (Teit p404) He went on to say that tatooing was a 'custom that was f a l l i n g i n t o disuse and that Indians were reluctant to give explanations of tatoo marks occurring on t h e i r person.' (Teit p.404) I have no doubt that Joeyaska s a i d nothing to James T e i t about h i s tatoos. Nothing i n that book i s recorded about i t . I know that my brothers say very l i t t l e about personal customs e s p e c i a l l y about r e l i g i o u s or s p i r i t u a l matters, they don't share that kind of information. However, on reading T e i t ' s b r i e f account about Tcuieska or Shesulushkin, i t helped v e r i f y some of the o r a l h i s t o r y I'd heard family t a l k about. Now we see i t i n p r i n t . Another written account about Joeyaska i s found i n a monthly newsletter c a l l e d the Kamloops Wawa Vol. IV, No. 1, i n by Father J.M.Le Jeune (1895) Catholic missionary i n the 26 i n t e r i o r of B r i t i s h Columbia. In the Nicola Country B.C. there are three o l d men- Temlh-skool-han, Haap-kan and Shoo-yaska who are s t i l l pagans and who have spent t h e i r l i v e s i n the Similkameen or between the Similkameen and the Nicola. But they are neither Similkameen nor Nicola Indians. They belong to another family, of which they are now the only survivors, (p.98) Contrary to Father Le Jeune, Joeyaska was not the only survivor of h i s family. He had many descendants. However, t h i s statement shows that Father Le Jeune recognized Joeyaska's t r i b a l d ifference. Our family maintains that Joeyaska was Stuwix. The Stuwi'HamuQ (Stuwix) was a part of the Athapaskan language group r e l a t e d to C h i l c o t i n and C a r r i e r i n ce n t r a l and northern B.C. and the Apache and Navaho of the American Southwest. (S t e r l i n g 1998 p.8) I f i n d i t i n t e r e s t i n g that Father LeJeune stated that my great grandfather was a pagan. I believe t h i s r e f e r s to the fa c t that Joeyaska or Shoo-yaska had four wives, and t h i s p r a c t i c e was i n c o n f l i c t with the teachings of the missionaries. For example Brett Christophers (1998) wrote about the 'savages' i n the Lytton d i s t r i c t , "From 1868 mission statutes ruled not only that monogamy was e s s e n t i a l but that a man was only e l i g i b l e f o r baptism i f h i s partner was h i s f i r s t wife." (p.122) Reverend J.B. Good, Anglican missionary at the time struggled with the teachings of the church and the enforcing of such regulations among the Ntla'kapmux s p e l l e d Nlha7kapmx. In 1900 James T e i t documented the Thompson people and polygamy. "For a man to have several wives was i n d i c a t i v e of 27 wealth." (The Jesup Report p.326) It i s possible that Father LeJeune's and Reverend J.B. Good's influence p r e v a i l e d because eventually Joeyaska relented and chose to marry one wife. He chose Martha an Ntla'kapmux from the Lytton area. S h i r l e y S t e r l i n g elaborated further on Joeyaska's decision on 'putting aside the other wives.' "Joeyaska cared about the other wives and continued to v i s i t them." (S t e r l i n g 1997 p.3) The t h i r d mention of Joeyaska i n p r i n t happens to be the e a r l i e s t written account which gives a surveyor's d e s c r i p t i o n of land. The t i t l e , "Joeyaska's Reserve i n S l l T91" i s dated September 11, 1878 and states that i t i s "A Reserve near the junction of the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers." This p a r t i c u l a r information i s handwritten by the Commissioner G.M. Sproat i n Volume 1 of the Minutes of Decision. A very curious notation e x i s t s on t h i s page, the t i t l e i s preceded by the words "Naweesistikun's t r i b e " , and that i s a name I have never heard of. However, i t suggests that Joeyaska i s one of the members. The name "Naweeshistan" i s also mentioned i n Positioning the Missionary 1998, a book describing missionary accounts with Ntla'kapmux i n the Lytton and surrounding area. The fourth written account about Joeyaska i s also handwritten by G.M. Sproat i n Volume 4 of h i s F i e l d Minutes of an incident on October 19, 1878. In the l e t t e r he described how Joeyaska, sp e l l e d Jo-i-yas-kah, has met him i n the town of Hope, B.C. to bring a grievance about a piece of 28 land. Sproat (1878) stated i n his l e t t e r that, I have decided to a l l o t the land and that Jo-i-yas-kah s h a l l have a piece of land at the place he so much desired, (p.279) This place i s situated i n Township 91, Mer r i t t , B.C. Section 11 on Godey Creek, 4 miles south of the town of Me r r i t t . It i s important to note here that i n 1878, There was considerable B r i t i s h Columbian land p o l i c y : Crown grants, pre-emptions that were confirmed by c e r t i f i c a t e s of improvement, mineral r i g h t s , water ri g h t s , grazing r i g h t s , as well as Native reserves. (Harris 1997 p.125) By 1870 much of the land had been surveyed and l a i d out by the Royal Engineers. My mother t o l d me that the o l d people heard that the surveyors were measuring out parcels of land. "Moi Ees was sent to inquire of the surveyors and ask f o r a bigger portion of land." (Sophie S t e r l i n g 1995) There was a communication problem. The e f f o r t s of Moi Ees to request more land was not heard and there was a general f e e l i n g of disappointment among the Coldwater Indians. However, the name Joeyaska and Joeyaska's Place was c l e a r l y documented. In 1878 Lands Commissioner Sproat "assumed" Native settlement overrode any non-Native claims. Where there was uncertainty, the balance of doubt should favor the Natives. (Harris 1997 p.126) Joeyaska got h i s land. It i s written and recorded. I have reason to believe Joeyaska gave a feast and sang h i s drum songs long into the night i n celebration of t h i s event. Joeyaska occupied, made improvements and complied with the regulations of the day. He passed the land to h i s sons and one daughter who were f u l l blood Indians having 'status' and 29 being registered with the DIA. My father was born 'status' because his mother di d not marry Charlie S t e r l i n g u n t i l 1898. Charlie was a half-breed, h i s father was from the B r i t i s h I s l e s , h i s mother was from the Nicola Lake area. Being 'status' gave my grandmother Sarah Joeyaska the ri g h t to occupy and use the land and to pass i t on to my father Albert S t e r l i n g who i n turn occupied, and considered i t h i s property. Because my father had one-quarter white blood he was c a l l e d a half-breed. However, i n h i s l i f e s t y l e , h i s fluency i n Indian languages, h i s subsistence t r a d i t i o n s , he was F i r s t Nations. He put up buildings and made improvements kept the land safe and shared his h o s p i t a l i t y . When he was happy and celebrating he sang his drum songs long i n t o the night. 30 CHAPTER TWO S t o r y t e l l i n g may be the oldest of the a r t s . We know that every culture on earth has passed e s s e n t i a l ideas from one generation to the next by word of mouth. (Cruikshank 1991 p.11) When I was seventeen years o l d at school, one of the p r i e s t s brought me from Kamloops to N i c o l a Lake to gather some information about my culture because my teacher requested i t . I spoke with N e l l i e G u i t t e r i e z , an Okanagan elder who was the main cook at the Guichon Ranch. As we sat at her kitchen table she t o l d me many things about the h i s t o r y of the Ntla'kapmux people. For example, what l i f e was l i k e p r i o r to European contact, about food, s h e l t e r and clothing, the general subsistence l i f e s t y l e common to I n t e r i o r S a l i s h people. Though N e l l i e ' s language and t r i b a l a f f i l i a t i o n was Okanagan, with the exception of language, the Okanagan and Ntla'kapmux shared many s i m i l a r i t i e s . In 1904 James T e i t c o l l e c t e d material d e s c r i p t i o n of the Salishan t r i b e s f or the Smithsonian I n s t i t u t e . He had already completed an extensive study of the Ntla'kapmux or Thompson t r i b e s i n 1900 for the Museum of Natural History. There were many items T e i t introduced such as habitat, stone and bone implements, "The t o o l s . . . appear to have been the same as those employed by the Thompson" (p.217) Numerous examples of physical descriptions are comparable between the two t r i b e s and found to be s i m i l a r . A f t e r N e l l i e f i n i s h e d sharing her c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l knowledge she t o l d me about how my great grandfather acquired h i s land at Godie Canyon, "Your 31 father's grandfather Joeyaska got hold of 320 acres of land, i t was a pre-emption." (Personal interview 1968) I remember that statement very well because N e l l i e repeated the word 'pre-emption' and I had no idea of what i t meant at the time. N e l l i e ' s words that day represented an important lesson on the importance of o r a l t r a d i t i o n . Her statements have since become a c r u c i a l source of information not only to me but to other members of my family as well i n our study of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. Jeannette Armstrong, an Okanagan author (1992) describes verbal testimony. You not only have to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r speaking those words, but you are responsible f o r the e f f e c t of those words on the person you are addressing and the thousands of years of t r i b a l memory packed in t o your understanding of those words, (p.293) N e l l i e ' s words had a profound e f f e c t on me. Her testimony was empowering and i t helped restore some l o s t knowledge to a young r e s i d e n t i a l school student. What she t o l d me was knowledge common to most everyone i n the Nicola Valley, but news to me. F i r s t l y , my parents t o l d me nothing about our h i s t o r y or culture to save me from getting punished at school as they had been, and secondly, h i s t o r y learned at school d i d not include l o c a l information. N e l l i e f u l f i l l e d her r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of sharing o r a l t r a d i t i o n that day by t e l l i n g me another story about the h i s t o r y of Joeyaska. Before Joeyaska moved up to Godey Canyon, he fi s h e d at the Coldwater River. He had many f i s h racks where he 32 d r i e d s t r i p s of salmon. When the whitemen wanted that land near the r i v e r , they burned the f i s h racks. This forced Joeyaska away from the r i v e r . (Personal notes 1968) N e l l i e ' s spilaxem that day served to give v o i c e to our F i r s t Nations knowledge of Joeyaska's land pre-emption. Subsequent land records show that Joeyaska 'acquired' the land and i t i s important to know the circumstances that l e a d up to that a c q u i s i t i o n . I t gives a more rounded p i c t u r e of the event and helps re-enforce the S t e r l i n g f amily's c l a i m to the land. I r e c e n t l y asked Pat Lean, h i s t o r i a n at the M e r r i t t A r c h i v e s , i f he could t e l l me anything about Joeyaska. He s a i d , Joeyaska had some f i s h racks by the r i v e r (Coldwater). Some white men burned those racks because they considered that land t h e i r property. Joeyaska was so angry that he f i r e d at them w i t h h i s gun. He didn't k i l l anyone, j u s t shot a hole throught the hat. (Personal i n t e r v i e w 1999) Again, Mr. Lean's v e r b a l testimony helped e s t a b l i s h Joeyaska's s i t u a t i o n and the u n f o l d i n g of events l e a d i n g to h i s land allotment at Godey Creek. I learned by d i s c u s s i n g t h i s i n c i d e n t w i t h my f a m i l y and reading my s i s t e r Deanna S t e r l i n g ' s Graduating Paper (1998) that i t was my mother's grandfather W i l l i a m Voght Sr. who was shot a t . His pre-empted land by the r i v e r was trepassed on by Joeyaska. Voght's wi f e Klama, an Ntla'kapmux woman, Intervened and spent hours i n dialogue w i t h Joeyaska i n t e r p r e t i n g f o r her husband (Voght) the r u l e s of pre- emption, trespass and p r o t e c t i o n of law. Joeyaska was t o l d to f i n d another f i s h i n g spot. He complied though most u n w i l l i n g l y . ( S t e r l i n g p.24) 33 The h a r v e s t i n g of food has always been a major a c t i v i t y among the I n t e r i o r S a l i s h people, "The most important of a l l foods was salmon which was caught by means of spear, net, tr a p or weir." ( N i c o l a V a l l e y Archives 1989 p.4) This remains true today. My brother Fred and h i s son Rick along w i t h my nephew Ron and h i s young son Corey spent two days salmon f i s h i n g w i t h a dip net at the Thompson Ri v e r . Despite the r i g o r o u s camp-out, Corey s a i d they 'slept on the rocks' and they caught 60 sockeye salmon during the a l l o t e d time f i s h i n g was open f o r F i r s t Nations food f i s h i n g . As i n Joeyaska's day, salmon i s a valued food source f o r our f a m i l y today. In J u l y 1986 the Lower N i c o l a Band members had been c a l l e d to a meeting regarding the beginning stages of land claims n e g o t i a t i o n s that many bands were undertaking w i t h the p r o v i n c i a l and f e d e r a l governments. Chief Don Moses introduced the t o p i c of land claims by s t a t i n g , Joeyaska was among the f i r s t i n B r i t i s h Columbia to get a land settlement i n the 1870's. He gave up land at N i c o l a Lake f o r a sack of f l o u r and a pouch of tobacco. (Personal Remembrance 19 86) Deanna S t e r l i n g ' s Graduating Paper 1998, answered one of my questions regarding Joeyaska. What was he doing at the Coldwater R i v e r when he was s a i d to have l i v e d at N i c o l a Lake. Ms. S t e r l i n g s t a t e d , Joeyaska had l i v e d on the f l a t s where the N i c o l a R i v e r flows from N i c o l a Lake. A rancher who pre-empted the land gave Joeyaska a sack of f l o u r and a pouch of tobacco f o r each of h i s clan's tents as a land trade. Joeyaska was to move to the mountain to l i v e as he was a hunter and fisherman and not a farmer. (1998 p. 20) 34 In speaking with my family about t h i s ' g i f t , ' i t was not a land trade. Joeyaska had been displaced. In the years following European settlement, Joeyaska along with many others were affected by the changes which were sweeping the whole province regarding land settlements and reserve a l l o c a t i o n s . Brett Christophers stated that i n J u l y 1858, A company of Royal engineers surveyed p o t e n t i a l town s i t e s , b u i l t roads and bridges opening up land for settlement. (1998 p.141) Certain developments were taking place i n the Nicola V a l l e y which forced change among many F i r s t Nations l i f e s t y l e s . For example when F i r s t Nations gave up hunting and f i s h i n g as a way of l i f e i n order to trap furs, " t h i s created a dependency upon trade goods when furs were depleted." (Nicola V a l l e y Archives 1989 p.14) F i r s t Nations who l i v e d o f f the land suddenly found themselves i n need. Further complications a r r i v e d with ranchers who were impressed by the natural grasses and r o l l i n g h i l l s of the area. They began the process of pre-empting land that was formerly u t i l i z e d by l o c a l F i r s t Nations for grazing, hunting and gathering foods of the land. What a difference between land allotment f o r Indians and land a l l o t t e d to Whites. In a book about the Douglas Lake Cattle Company, Nina Wolliams (1979) i l l u s t r a t e s an example of those differences, "By 1877 Douglas owned around 700 acres," (p.18) while the l o c a l F i r s t Nations were r e s t r i c t e d to a few acres causing an uproar. They reacted, "...becoming h o s t i l e and awaited only the word 35 of C h i l l i h i t z i a , the chief of the Okanagans, to s t a r t a f u l l - scale war against the white s e t t l e r s . " (p.19) In 1871 when the province became part of the dominion of Canada, land commissioners under the 'Lands and Works Department' were appointed to resolve the a f f a i r s dealing with allotment and pre-emptions. It appears that European s e t t l e r s benefited when administrator Joseph Trutch "shaped the new c o l o n i a l order and i t s p o l i t i c s of dispossession" (Christophers 1998 pl42) Trutch a l l o t t e d very few reserves yet "Nlha7kapmx t e r r i t o r y would be a v a i l a b l e for preemption." (p.142) This action caused f r i c t i o n and fear leading to h o s t i l i t i e s . Peter O'Reilly, a magistrate i n Yale, recognized the land disputes and "recommended that surveys be made and reserves set aside." (Christophers p.143) However, he protected the "European claims and squeezed the reserves onto poorer land i n between." Joanne Drake-Terry 1989, described one of the major p o l i c i e s to a f f e c t F i r s t Nations, the "Order-in-council, dated March 21, 1873 recommending that 80 acres of land be a l l o c a t e d to every Indian family of f i v e i n B r i t i s h Columbia...the figure was to be amended to 20 acres per family of f i v e . " (p.110) In some places, the allotment was 10 acres. Such i n j u s t i c e could only lead to outrage among F i r s t Nations when a single white was able to pre-empt many times that amount of land. John Booth Good, Anglican missionary, made an e f f o r t to help the Nlha7kapmx, one of whom was Nawheeshistan, a chief 36 of the t r i b e Joeyaska belonged to, according to G.M.Sproat, Land Commissioner, (Vol.4/10 p.280) Christophers pointed out the angry r e a c t i o n , "Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , the Natives were enraged and sought redress, to which end Naweeshistan, a c h i e f , approached Good, who understood t h e i r anger and wrote to Musgrove." (p.143) Musgrove was the Governor of B r i t i s h Columbia at the time. Good drew up a p e t i t i o n from Naweeshistan requesting that "unless the reserves were extended and preemption was denied, white s e t t l e r s would continue to take land and resources that belonged to Natives." ( O ' R e i l l y D i a r i e s , 21-3 August 1868 50-1) When there was no p o s i t i v e r e a c t i o n , Good "Reeled o f f a second l e t t e r , t h i s time a f u r i o u s a t t a c k on the government i n general, and on O ' R e i l l y i n p a r t i c u l a r . " (p.143) Land Commissioner G i l b e r t M. Sproat was given power to "make reserve land a l l o c a t i o n s and to f i n a l i z e h i s d e c i s i o n s "on the spot" w i t h i n the extensive d i s t r i c t of Yale." (Drake- Terry 1989 p.127) Sproat recognized the consequences of not d e a l i n g w i t h F i r s t Nations and t h e i r land reductions, warning of 'Indian Wars' and ' h a l t i n g r a i l w a y c o n s t r u c t i o n ' . In a l e t t e r i n h i s f i e l d minutes, Sproat s t a t e d "the case of Joey- aska which was brought before me by the indians and a l s o by Mr. Clapperton, J.P., has i n v o l v e d much tr o u b l e and correspondence, but I f i n a l l y decided that the Indians ought to have the place known as Joey-aska's place, near the mouth of the coldwater where there i s a b i g f i e l d fenced." (Sept.6, 187 8 p.8) Former land commissioner Joseph Trutch c a r r i e d out 37 a land p o l i c y which reduced Indian land reserves yet protected non-Indian land ownership. Author Robin Fisher (1989) pointed out some of the u n f a i r p r a c t i c e s during the 1870's. When Europeans owned land they fenced i n the grass and tended to bring trespassers before t h e i r courts. Areas c u l t i v a t e d by Indians, however, were not always s i m i l a r l y protected, e i t h e r i n the courts or from white encroachment, (p.273) When G i l b e r t Malcolm Sproat took over as Commissioner of Indian lands he made an e f f o r t to r e c t i f y and bring about j u s t i c e to F i r s t Nations regarding t h e i r land matters. In the F i e l d Minutes dated September 6, 1878 Sproat d e t a i l e d complaints William Charters brought to him regarding "his r i g h t to the water from "Mountain Creek" being stronger than Joeyaska 1s." (p.9) However Sproat explained that "The o l d man Joeyaska claims the p r i o r r i g h t to having years ago cut some three ditches to carry water from s a i d stream," the stream i n t h i s dispute being named the "Joeyaska Creek" (p.10) Sproat stated that "the Indians r i g h t to 20 inches (water) should come f i r s t " because "Mr. Charters w i l l f i n d enough for what he may reasonably claim." (p.10) Sproat continued i n the F i e l d Notes making mention of dispossession which took place at the Coldwater River; The Indians as already said f e e l very strongly about t h e i r leaving without compensation at the Coldwater being dispossessed i n favor of white s e t t l e r s , (pll) This appears to be the incident of Joeyaska l o s i n g h i s f i s h racks at the Coldwater River when William Voght pre-empted that land. Sproat continued on about t h i s outrage, 38 There would be great trouble were any attempt made to deprive them of t h i s remnant consisting of a small p r i v i l e d g e to enable them to c u l t i v a t e about 15 acres of a g r i c u l t u r a l land. (p.11) Further documentation by Christophers 1998, states that i n the spring of 1872 a V i c t o r i a paper published "a st i n g i n g c r i t i c i s m of Good, written by seven residents of the land claimed by Naweeshistan." (p.144) The residents blamed Good for meddling and i n c i t i n g the uproar. In the l e t t e r dated Sept. 6, 1878, Sproat granted considerable favor to Joeyaska. In addition, i n a second l e t t e r dated October 19, 1878, Sproat mentioned Joeyaska. I met him yesterday near Hope, but not having an Interpreter with me I d i d not know quite what he sa i d . I think he said that Mr. Charters has said that he would not l e t him have any water but I can hardly think t h i s i s the case, as that gentleman has too much good sense not to appreciate that the whole Indian adjustment i n Nicola i s e n t i r e l y a compromise on the give and take p r i n c i p l e , (p.279, 280) What was Joeyaska doing i n the town of Hope? Hope i s 6 9 miles south of Me r r i t t , an arduous journey of several days by horseback. It i s apparent that only the most urgent matter could have brought Joeyaska to Hope which i s nearby the town of Yale where land allotments, land matters and pre-emptions could be f i l e d . "A government o f f i c i a l , a revenue c o l l e c t o r was located at Yale." (Harris 1997 p.110) Sproat's l e t t e r states that Joeyaska sought him out i n order to l a y a complaint about h i s neighbor William Charters who was attempting to lay claim to a l l the water r i g h t s . It appears that Sproat was well aware of the p o t e n t i a l l y v o l a t i l e s i t u a t i o n should he not deal f a i r l y with a man of Joeyaska's 39 warrior reputation. The matter of burnt f i s h racks and the los s of h i s winter food supply, causing Joeyaska to deal with the incident by f i r i n g a shot, was s t i l l fresh i n everyone's memory including Sproat's not to mention those 'ho s t i l e ' Okanagans i n the Nicola Lake region who were ready to go to war. In h i s l e t t e r , Sproat noted that, "the whole Indian adjustment i n Nicola i s e n t i r e l y a compromise on the give and take p r i n c i p l e , " (p.280) which goes against the grain of land p o l i c y under Joseph Trutch whose own r u l i n g s were described as unsatisfactory land p o l i c y that "has been c i t e d as having caused the Indians of the I n t e r i o r to reach a b o i l i n g point." (Fisher 1980 p.275) Trutch was responsible fo r creating dangerous sit u a t i o n s , ones which Sproat took great e f f o r t to difuse as i t i s shown i n his handling of William Charters' demand of water r i g h t s from Joeyaska. He pointed out the wrongful case of Mr. Charters, His own l a t e water record would be i n v a l i d i f r i g h t s were processed and the Indian can only want very l i t t l e comparatively, (p.280) It i s c l e a r that Sproat supported Joeyaska because i n the next l i n e he wrote of h i s decision. It i s the same decision he had a r r i v e d at i n h i s previous l e t t e r of September 1878. "It i s decided that Jo.i.yas.ka s h a l l have a piece of land at the place he so much desires, and he may proceed to c u l t i v a t e i t . " (p.280) It i s l i t t l e wonder that Joeyaska was so adamant about b u i l d i n g and protecting ditches on h i s land. Water was 40 c r u c i a l f o r c u l t i v a t i o n . This shows that Joeyaska had been working f o r years to cl e a r the land and making serious e f f o r t to honor h i s land pre-emption. The task of harvesting one's winter supply of food was important e s p e c i a l l y i f white land owners could burn anyone's f i s h racks to s u i t t h e i r purposes. These points were evident to G i l b e r t Malcom Sproat who presentd a t a c t f u l approach to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n between Joeyaska and William Charters. In a very serious and r e f l e c t i v e mood, Sproat revealed h i s knowledge about the whole land s i t u a t i o n i n general, and his own duty to do what was r i g h t . It should be remembered i n Nicola that u n t i l I v i s i t e d the v a l l e y , the Indians both by P r o v i n c i a l and Dominion law had superior claims to a l l lands on which they had settlements which they had not consented to abandon and f o r which they had not been compensated, (p.280) Sproat recognized the considerable s a c r i f i c e made by the F i r s t Nations who l o s t land i n the name of po l i c y , law and European settlement. It could be said that Sproat was a protector of Indian r i g h t s . I believe that these incidents are the ones r e f e r r e d to by Sproat i n his f i e l d minutes i n 1878 when the case of Joey- aska which was "brought before me by the Indians, and also by Mr. Clapperton, J.P., has involved much trouble and correspondence." Coming to an understanding of the s i t u a t i o n with or without an in t e r p r e t e r would have been d i f f i c u l t enough, but Joeyaska was adamant about getting h i s point across. Sproat concluded, "I f i n a l l y decided that the Indians ought to have the place known as Joey-aska's place, 41 near the mouth of the Coldwater." (Vol. 4/10 p.8) He recognized the urgency of Joeyaska's case and he complied. In t h i s same l e t t e r dated 1878, Sproat o u t l i n e d a meeting of the Ntla'kapmux that was to take place i n the f o l l o w i n g summer at Lytton. The Indians among whom I have been working t h i s year who c a l l themselves the Nekla. kap. a muk Nation wish to have a great meeting or convention at Lytto n to t a l k over matters, (p.280) H i s t o r i a n Cole H a r r i s described t h i s meeting i n a book The Resettlement of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1997. " J u l y 17, 1879 ... a gathering of 1200 Nlha7kapmx encamped at Lytto n w i t h tents and f l a g s and 1500 horses." (p.128) Mr. Sproat made a speech to the assembled group then r e t i r e d , "to be a v a i l a b l e as needed as l e g a l a d visor." The outcome of that meeting was that a head c h i e f was e l e c t e d , s e v e r a l proposals were made regarding a school, h i r i n g a doctor and making laws and r e g u l a t i o n s . No doubt Joeyaska was i n attendance here. In a document regarding c o a l r i g h t s , Joeyaska i s c a l l e d 'Chief'. Deanna S t e r l i n g s t a t e d , "Old records of Indian Agent meeting at I n s h i s k t l a t e r to be Joeayska Indian Reserve #2 a f t e r "Chief Joeyaska" i n d i c a t e d that the reserve was considered a separate e n t i t y from the Lower N i c o l a Band." ( S t e r l i n g 1998 p.20) Christophers (1998) described G i l b e r t Malcolm Sproat as "by f a r and away the p i v o t a l and most energetic member of the committee," (p.145) i n reference to the land commissioners. The I n t e r i o r S a l i s h were so a p p r e c i a t i v e of Sproat's work f o r 42 them that "one o l d c h i e f , f o r example, who had r e s i s t e d m i s s i o n e t h i c s f o r many years, would set aside one of h i s three wives now that Sproat had come to solve the land question." (p.151) This statement shows Spro a t 1 s i n t e n t i o n , "...he shared the op i n i o n that the Natives i n B r i t i s h Columbia had p r i o r t i t l e to the land." (Harris 1997 p l l 8 ) When I searched through the records at the Lands and T i t l e s O f f i c e at the Department of Indian A f f a i r s i n Vancouver, I overheard a f e l l o w researcher comment on Sproat. "Sproat acted l i k e he was a god back then." I'm t h a n k f u l that Sproat had two years i n which to make d e c i s i o n s on lands. During that time my great grandfather's land was a l l o t t e d to him. Joeyaska indeed got the de s i r e s of h i s heart, h i s land. When N e l l i e G u i t t e r i e z worked i n the households of white ranchers, i t i s apparent that the land c o n f l i c t between her ancestors and the ranchers had been s e t t l e d . I t i s documented that the government attempted to smooth out some of the d i s p a r i t i e s among land holders w i t h the help of G i l b e r t Malcolm Sproat. N e l l i e and the elders of her time were w e l l aware of Joeyaska's s i t u a t i o n and the whole land allotment system of the time. Pre-emption was a b i g word, i t c a r r i e d a l o t of weight. Joeyaska earned h i s pre-emption, my fa t h e r i n h e r i t e d the pre-empted land. That was common knowledge i n the region, a f a m i l i a r s t o r y i n the households of the N i c o l a V a l l e y . That s t o r y reached my ears i n 1968, i t turned out to be an e s s e n t i a l piece of informat i o n f o r 1999. 4 3 CHAPTER THREE I have worked hard on my land so I should not go round begging. (Xitha Gaxe, Native American Testimony 1991 p.238) My mother, Sophie S t e r l i n g passed along information r e l a t e d to her by our dad and by the elders. She t o l d my s i s t e r Deanna about Joeyaska's a r r i v a l i n the Nicola V a l l e y . Sophie S t e r l i n g s a i d that the o l d people remember how Joeyaska looked when he f i r s t came to the v a l l e y . He was carrying a musket and had wounds as i f fresh from a b a t t l e of some kind. No date was given f o r h i s a r r i v a l . ( S t e r l i n g 1998 p.19) I t r y to imagine the loss Joeyaska f e l t having been chased from h i s v i l l a g e and away from h i s people. My parent and s i b l i n g s experienced the loss of many things, but not at gunpoint as Joeyaska had. These words written by an anonymous author depict such displacement. I see the land desolate and I suff e r an unspeakable sadness. Sometimes I wake i n the night and I f e e l as though I should suffocate from the pressure of t h i s awful f e e l i n g of loneliness. (Nabakov 1979 p.184) What g r i e f to have been forced i n such v i o l e n t manner to s t a r t a new l i f e . It i s no wonder that Joeyaska d i d not return to Washington, he l e f t behind a devestated homeland. He made a new l i f e f o r himself i n the Nicola Valley. Joeyaska s e t t l e d i n the Nicola V a l l e y area by taking four wives. He associated with the t r i b e s of the area and was able to communicate i n the Okanagan language. James T e i t 1895, wrote "Tcuieska was Ntlakya'pamuQ, one quarter Stuw'hamuq, one quarter Okanagan and one h a l f Nkamtci'nemuq. (p.32) This v i s i t by T e i t appears to be a rather formal 44 occasion i n which to gather information. I don't know what year Joeyaska came in t o the v a l l e y . The story i s that Joeyaska f l e d from a war and dangerous encounter i n Washington State. My mother said that 'he was scarred heavily i n the chest area.' (Sophie Sterling) I remember N e l l i e G u i t t e r i e z t e l l i n g me that Joeyaska came from Brewster, Washington. (Personal Commnication 1968) The town of Brewster borders the C o v i l l e Indian Reservation i n Washington. A l l I had was that story of Joeyaska and the land that was named a f t e r him, our home. In a chapter about 'newcomers' a r r i v i n g i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n the 1800's Joanne Drake-Terry included an incident of warfare among the Cayuse and Yakima i n northern Oregon. In 1855 a d e c e i t f u l Indian agent lured them to cede a great portion of t h e i r land to the American government. The people found out, k i l l e d the agent and were punished by the U.S. m i l i t a r y which sent hundreds of armed v i g i l a n t e s to wage war against them. Missionaries known as Oblates who l i v e d and taught among the t r i b e s were powerless to help, they then " l e f t a l l Indian t e r r i t o r i e s south of the 49th p a r a l l e l and moved north...into the Cariboo." (p.79) When Father LeJeune c a l l e d Joeyaska or "Shoo-yaska" a pagan (Kamloops Wawa 1895) i t appears that Joeyaska had not converted to any one of the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n s . Joeyaska held his own s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f s . I know that from information from my mother, "Your dad l i v e d with h i s grandfather, Joeyaska when he was a l i t t l e boy. Joeyaska taught him everything. How to l i v e o f f the land and how to 45 pray." (Personal Communication) James T e i t documented prayer among the Thompson and Okanagan as " b e l i e f i n mysterious powers and the chief objects of prayer were the f u l f i l l m e n t of t h e i r desires, and the protection from harm." (The Jesup Expedition 1900 p.344) Incidents where missionaries were i n e f f e c t i v e i n times of war suggests one of the aversions Joeyaska had toward t h e i r doctrine. It i s understandable to see that a man of Joeyaska's stature r e s i s t e d Father LeJeune's Catholicism i n 1895. One of the main reasons why Joeyaska d i d not convert was because C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n s forbade polygamy. P r i e s t s would not baptize men who had more than one wife. I t r u s t that Joeyaska had h i s own s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f s which c a r r i e d him along besides another reason f o r resistance would have been atti t u d e s such as, If we could elevate such people and set them on the Rock of our Salvation we must be w i l l i n g to go down to the very depths of t h e i r degradation and p a t i e n t l y l i f t them up. (Missionary John Booth Good, among the Ntla'kapmux i n Lytton. E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Archives 1958 p.98) Having come from an American state where he experienced loss of parents and family, r e l a t i v e s , friends and t r i b a l community as well as homeland i n the betrayal by government and m i l i t a r y Joeyaska sought to surround himself with a new family group. Nabakov (1979) summarized the i n j u s t i c e of such displacement i n the long h i s t o r y of Indian-white warfare. The majority of Native American "uprisings" occured when Indian t e r r i t o r y was being encroached upon or some l o c a l incident i g n i t e d a f r o n t i e r already tense with 46 i n j u s t i c e towards the Indians, (p.94) I f the o l d people remember that Joeyaska came in t o the N i c o l a V a l l e y with only a gun to his name, i t seems apparent that he had l o s t everything else except his l i f e . Deanna S t e r l i n g ' s Graduating Paper (1998) describes two of Joeyaska's t r i b a l names l i s t e d by T e i t . "The Stuwi'Hamuq (Stuwix) was a part of the Athapaskan language group r e l a t e d to the C h i l c o t i n and C a r r i e r i n ce n t r a l and northern B.C." (p.18) Nkamtchi'nemuq which means 'people of the entrance' or 'where the creek meets the r i v e r ' r e f e r s to the Thompson people around Spences Bridge. The Okanagans ranged from central Washington and into the ce n t r a l I n t e r i o r of B r i t i s h Columbia. According to James T e i t , the Okanagan t r i b e s include Sanpoil and C o l v i l l e and c a l l themselves " N s i - l i x t c e n which means Salish-speaking as i n S a l i s h or Flathead t r i b e s . " (Bureau of Ethnology 193 0 p.199) Joeyaska had wives from two of the t r i b a l groups mentioned, the Ntla'kapmux and Okanagan. I t i s most probable that he was able to communicate with them and to have learned t h e i r languages. Keeping four wives shows what an exceptionally good hunter and provider Joeyaska had to have been. I heard that Joeyaska was a g i l e and l i v e l y even at an o l d age. It i s s a i d that " i f anyone approached Joeyaska when he was seated cross-legged on the f l o o r or ground, Joeyaska leapt to h i s feet i n one move." (Personal Communication) My brother Austin S t e r l i n g t o l d me recently that i n order f o r Joeyaska to have been accepted into the community 47 of the Nicola Lake region, he f i r s t would have had to proceed i n correct form, he had to know how to conduct himself and p r a c t i s e proper protocol i n the new t e r r i t o r y . (Personal communication J u l y 1999) James T e i t (193 0) made these notes about property among the Okanagans. The t r i b a l t e r r i t o r y was common property, and free to a l l the people f o r hunting and f i s h i n g , berrying, and root digging. But people of one band d i d not as a rule pick b e r r i e s or dig roots i n the grounds near the headquarters of another band without f i r s t obtaining the consent of the chief i n charge of the t e r r i t o r y and then only at the proper season. (Bureau of American Ethnology p.277) It i s obvious that Joeyaska complied with the customs of h i s hosts, f i r s t of a l l for having survived, and secondly, to become a good provider along with his wives. One of the main routes to gaining peace amongst t r i b e s was by intermarriage. When Joeyaska i s reported to have several wives from d i f f e r i n g t r i b e s , that means he l i v e d peaceably among those t r i b e s . This i s important to note because there had been wars between the Stuwi'x, Thompson, Okanagan and Shuswap. "Long ago the Stuwi'x had frequent wars with the Thompson. This was at a time before the l a t t e r had intermarried much with them." (Teit 1930 p.257) Joeyaska placed a great importance upon the forming of a l l i a n c e s through h i s wives and ch i l d r e n and therefore l i v e d at peace i n t h e i r country and among t h e i r kin. G i l b e r t Malcolm Sproat, land commissioner, l i s t e d Joeyaska under "Naweesistikun's t r i b e " (Minutes of Decision 1878). According to James T e i t (193 0) there were only four 48 r e a l c h i e f s i n the Nicola-Similkameen country, one of those he named was, "Nawi'seq En which means (raised high head or able to be high head) became recognized i n the c e n t r a l part of N i c o l a Valley." (American Bureau of Ethnology p.262) Sproat and T e i t appear to have d i f f e r e n t s p e l l i n g patterns f o r the same name. As well, a t h i r d v a r i a t i o n i s found i n Positioning the Missionary (1997) . John Booth Good, missionary i n the Lytton area among the Ntla'kapmux, attempted to help "Naweeshistan" when s e t t l e r s at Nicola Lake p e t i t i o n e d against him. (Christophers p.150) It i s apparent i n Land Commissioner Sproat's notation that Joeyaska i s considered part of Naweeshistan's group, which i s very s i g n i f i c a n t because T e i t claimed that "at Nawi'seq En's death he owned about 1,000 head of horses." (p.262) I t r u s t that had Joeyaska aligned himself with Naweeshistan, as i s pointed out by Sproat, one of the ways he d i d so was po s s i b l y by marriage to one of Naweeshistan's r e l a t i v e s and another by h i s horsemanship t a l e n t s . In 1867 missionary John Booth Good remarked about the importance of the horse i n the i n t e r i o r of B r i t i s h Columbia. "Their most valued possession was t h e i r horses of which they had some hundreds a l l t o l d . " ( E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Archives 1958 p.103) Joeyaska i s s a i d to have f l e d on horseback from American s o l d i e r s . It was not mentioned that he a r r i v e d with a horse i n the Nicola V a l l e y . The story about Joeyaska's escape on horseback reveals that the horse was h i s means of transportation. He most l i k e l y acquired and trained h i s own horse and brought that s k i l l 49 with him to Nicola Lake where the F i r s t Nations owned many horses. Father LeJeune wrote, "The Indian e s p e c i a l l y i n N i c o l a have very fin e horses owning some of the best s t a l l i o n s i n the country." (Kamloops Wawa Vo.IX No. 12 1900, p.5) My father, Albert S t e r l i n g , as a s i x year o l d boy had a pony given to him by his grandfather Joeyaska. I was t o l d that my father rode h i s pony to the school house several miles south of the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. Horses served as a major part of the l i v e s of my parents and grandparents including Joeyaska. Deanna S t e r l i n g described Joeyaska's land trade with a white rancher because "Joeyaska was a hunter and fisherman and not a farmer." (St e r l i n g 1998 p.20) However, I know from o r a l t r a d i t i o n that Joeayska was very upset to have l o s t that land. It appeared to have been a misunderstanding. In any event he had family r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and having been forced o f f h i s land at Nicola Lake by white s e t t l e r s urgently required another homestead property f o r himself and h i s family group. Joeyaska had already experienced the los s of h i s t r i b a l homeland i n the States. He would have been extremely wary about l o s i n g more. The land deals being c a r r i e d out i n favor of the white s e t t l e r s i n the Nicola Lake region while t r i b a l lands shrunk would have affected Joeyaska. He not only aligned himself with but p e r s i s t e d with h i s chief to gain s e c u r i t y i n the form of land for h i s family. As a member of the community Joeyaska would have witnessed the amassing of 50 great t r a c t s of land among the s e t t l e r s compared with the shrinking t r i b a l t e r r i t o r i e s . As an associate of Naweeshsitan, he would have known of and supported Naweeshistan 1s persistent e f f o r t s to gain favor i n land p e t i t i o n s . Those s k i l l s helped s e t t l e h i s own land allotment. Christophers referred to Naweeshistan with regard to a land dispute going on i n the Nicola V a l l e y between the chief and white s e t t l e r s . Reverend John Booth Good stationed at Lytton was c a l l e d upon to help Naweeshistan, however h i s e f f o r t s proved f r u i t l e s s despite several t a c t i c s to t r y and bring about some j u s t i c e f or the Ntla'kapmux chief from Nico l a . Several chiefs became suspicious of g i f t s given i n f r i e n d s h i p at meetings with J . Powell former Indian Commssioner. "They began refusing the g i f t s f o r fear that by accepting them, more of t h e i r land would be given up. It i s documented that Naweeshistan made t h i s declaration." (Christophers 1997, p.145) James T e i t described the Okanagans' wars about 1875. Owing to strong f e e l i n g engendered by the f a i l u r e of the Government to provide reservations and make treaty with the Indians, the Okanagan and Shuswap t r i b e s made a compact to attack the whites and drive them out of t h e i r t e r r i t o r i e s . This was f r u s t r a t e d by the strong influence of Chief Tcelahitsa of the Douglas Lake Band. (Bureau of Ethnology 1930 p.259) Joeyaska had experienced treacherous loss of lands at h i s former home i n Washington. When he was displaced at Nicola Lake by s e t t l e r s , he moved to the Godey Creek at the base of Iron Mountain i n the v i c i n i t y near the Coldwater River. The 51 incident at the banks of the Coldwater River where he l o s t f i s h racks and r e t a l i a t e d against such flagrant waste of winter food supplies showed Joeyaska's intolerance of i n j u s t i c e s suffered at the hands of white s e t t l e r s . However, when Klama, William Voght 1s wife, explained the laws he became knowledgeable of the l e g a l processes regarding land a c q u i s i t i o n . Joeyaska had s e t t l e d h i s family at Godey Creek, an area that included accessible wagon roads between the towns of M e r r i t t , Hope, and Princeton. It was land apparently not claimed or pre-empted by anyone else . Witnessing land allotments i n nearby f i e l d s f o r others would have hastened Joeyaska's r i g h t to pre-empt and occupy the land at Godey Creek. Therefore he investigated the system of homestead acreages for himself. Through his own desire and with the help of h i s chief Naweeshistan the surveyors i n the v a l l e y helped make his claim and pre-emption of 320 acres v a l i d at Godey Creek. It i s l i k e l y that Joeyaska had already l a i d claim and occupied the two homestead p l o t s . When he searched f o r the land commissioner to f i l e h i s claim and to complain about the white s e t t l e r next door, 'William Charters taking up the water supply i n the neighbouring f i e l d ' , h i s claim and h i s complaint was known to Sproat who subsequently wrote, I do not mean to exclude Jo.i.yas.kah's place. I met him yesterday near Hope, but not having the Interpreter with me I d i d not know quite what he said. (Letters Vol.4/10 p.279) In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r instance Sproat had been made aware of Joeyaska's d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with William Charters taking a l l 52 the water supply. "I think he said that Mr. Charters had sa i d that he would not l e t him have any water." (p279) This statement reveals that Joeyaska had already f i l e d claims f o r the land through the pre-emption process. He had occupied the land, dug the ditches and had begun work on the land. He considered i t h i s land. Water i s c r u c i a l f o r l i v e s t o c k and fo r c u l t i v a t i o n . William Charters preventing water access was a threat, an i n j u s t i c e Joeyaska would not t o l e r a t e . For wives, c h i l d r e n and l i v e s t o c k water was a necessity, i t was a l i f e threatening s i t u a t i o n f or him. Therefore, Joeyaska's urgency to press the matter with Land Commissioner Sproat who made the statement, "I d i d not quite know what he said" reveals Joeyaska's urgent attempt at getting the matter cleared. He did not give up despite the language b a r r i e r between them. The lands commissioner ruled i n his favour. According to Sproat's decision, It i s decided that Jo,i,yask.kah s h a l l have the piece of land at the place he so much desired, and he may proceed to c u l t i v a t e , (p.280) That day marked the ownership of land for Joeyaska. Sproat had been given "power to make reserve land a l l o c a t i o n s and to f i n a l i z e h i s decisions "on the spot " within the extensive d i s t r i c t c a l l e d Yale." (Drake-Terry 1989 p.127) How d i d Joeyaska acquire 32 0 acres, the equivalent of two homestead plo t s when the reserves a l l o t t e d f o r l o c a l F i r s t Nations were very minimal. Deanna S t e r l i n g wrote that at the time of Joeyaska's claim, Whites and Mexicans could pre-empt 120 acre p l o t s of 53 land, "while Indians were a l l o t t e d 10 acres per family of 5." (St e r l i n g 1998 p.21) When Joeyaska presented h i s case with the land commissioner, a l l c r i t e r a had been set i n place to grant h i s request. Joeyaska 1s i n i t i a l proceedings of land development and c u l t i v a t i o n , and Joeyaska 1s persistence and determination to make a stand, the threat of warfare at Nicola Lake, Sproat's desire to keep the peace, a l l paid o f f . Joeyaska knew his r i g h t s , he proved that he was able to tend the land, he made a stand, therefore Sproat granted him the pre-emption that day. It appears that Sproat had been very c a r e f u l to "avoid further trouble, he elaborated on why William Charters' claim would f a i l f o r 3 reasons; 1. Being contrary to the grand equitable r i g h t s of the Indians. 2. Being recorded by the Asst. Comm i n error 3. Because i t i s not proper to i n t e r f e r e with h i s taking water that i s i n the creek at the point he mentions namely "where the said" "creek enters my" "pre emption claims" The creek a f t e r leaving the mountain, passes through Joeyaska's place before reaching the land of Charters. ( F i e l d Minutes Vol. 4/10 Oct. 6, 1878 p.14, 15) The tensions about land issues were considered 'burning issues' i n the i n t e r i o r . Drake-Terry 1989, described that Sproat was a f r a i d to t r a v e l to the i n t e r i o r i n 1877 because 'the Okanagan Indian nations were about to form a confederation and declare war on the white s e t t l e r s . " (p.124) Joeyaska was deadly serious about securing land and providing f o r h i s family. Lands Commissioner Sproat most probably granted him 'the land he so much desired' i n hopes 54 of keeping the peace. Land allotment was a new concept, to gain t i t l e was a major v i c t o r y that included i t s own l i s t of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Ones that Joeyaska already p r a c t i s e d . The American Indian Handbook (1960) defined the new concept of land tenure. Instead of depending on the spontaneous products of the land the Indian began to sow seeds and to care f o r the plants. In order to do t h i s he had to remain on the s o i l he c u l t i v a t e d . Thus occupancy gradually established a claim or r i g h t to possess the t r a c t from which a t r i b e or an i n d i v i d u a l derived food. (Hodge p.756) It i s apparent that Joeyaska had occupied the land at Godey Creek f o r some time. He had begun the arduous tasks of digging ditches and c l e a r i n g land f o r c u l t i v a t i o n . However, a question arose. As previously noted, my father Albert S t e r l i n g stayed at Nicola with Joeyaska i n the winter lodge or s h i ' i s t k e n , Father LeJeune and James T e i t documented that Joeyaska was from Nicola. How could Joeyaska be i n two places? My mother said that Joeyaska u t i l i z e d the grazing lands from his allotment at Godey Creek a l l the way to N i c o l a Lake. This land was c a l l e d 'commonage' and he grazed h i s horses there. Later when my father was a guard i n Princeton i n 1941 t h i s land became leased to someone else . (Personal Communication) Joeyaska moved back and f o r t h from Nicola Lake to Godey Creek where he f i n a l l y s e t t l e d . He b u i l t a house, barn, c o r r a l s and fences yet continued to associate with hi s r e l a t i v e s and friends at Nicola. My father's grandmother on Charley S t e r l i n g ' s side l i v e d at Nicola Lake and he stayed with them as well. 55 Lands Commissioner Sproat a l s o noted that s i n c e Joeyaska was a l l o t t e d the land, "he must abide upon the land he now occupies and upon which he has made great improvements." ( F i e l d Minutes Vol.4/10 Oct. 6, 1878 p.11, 12) That made i t o f f i c i a l . Joeyaska h e l d favor w i t h Sproat. I t was a f o r e i g n concept to fence i n a p l o t of land when, i n past, the whole t e r r i t o r y had been considered home and sustenance. Nabakov (1991) described the v e r s a t i l e man. The o r d i n a r y Indian man although p e r f e c t l y ready to defend h i s l i f e or community, was at the same time f a m i l y man, p r o v i d e r , craftsman and p a r t i c i p a n t i n h i s people's demanding s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s schedule. (P-91) Joeyaska proved to be a l l these. He taught h i s c h i l d r e n and g r a n d c h i l d r e n s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f s , to be i n d u s t r i o u s and to be defenders of t h e i r r i g h t s . My father was w e l l aware of these teachings f o r he c a r r i e d on i n those t r a d i t i o n s . He went through v i s i o n quests and l a t e r b u i l t a sweat lodge f o r s p i r t u a l c l e a n s i n g and he prayed i n the manner taught by h i s grandfather, Joeyaska. My brother A u s t i n S t e r l i n g witnessed our dad praying at dawn f a c i n g the east. He ended h i s prayer with, "Hooh" which sounds very much l i k e the Lakota who say, "Hoh" to c l o s e the prayers. (Personal Communication). In order f o r Joeyaska to get h o l d of the t o o l s necessary to begin c l e a r i n g land and d i g g i n g d i t c h e s , he had to procure a great supply of goods to trade f o r these implements. The l a t e Robert S t e r l i n g (1979) wrote, For c e n t u r i e s and even i n t o the present l o c a l Native Indians possessed a hunting and gathering m e n t a l i t y . A l l t h e i r possessions - t o o l s , food, s h e l t e r , myths and ceremonies, medicines, and b e l i e f s came from the n a t u r a l 56 environment. (His t o r y of the N i c o l a V a l l e y Indian p.39) Joeyaska's s u r v i v a l depended upon h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the land. His f a m i l y depended upon h i s knowledge of hunting and gathering. Thomas Berger i n V i l l a g e Journey (1985) speaks of the importance of 'subsistence' and l i v i n g o f f the land. "Subsistence l i v i n g was not only a way of l i f e , but a l s o a l i f e - e n r i c h i n g process." (p.54) Robert S t e r l i n g (1979) summarized such patterns of s u r v i v a l , "While t h i s was a d i f f i c u l t e x i s t e n c e , the l o c a l ancestors considered i t the i d e a l l i f e . " ( H i s t o r y of the N i c o l a V a l l e y Indians p.39) James T e i t (193 0) commented on the exchange of goods f o r trade items by the I n t e r i o r S a l i s h w i t h the Europeans. Indian-hemp twine, and dressed s k i n s , c h i e f l y deerskins, ...were i n demand c o n s t a n t l y because they were so much re q u i r e d f o r manufactures and c l o t h i n g . A l l commodities co u l d be bought w i t h them. (p.255) Joeyaska was a deer hunter. His wives, c h i l d r e n and gra n d c h i l d r e n were e q u a l l y i n d u s t r i o u s . I have seen my great grandmother Martha's cedar root baskets. I had heard that Joeyaska's chosen wife Martha was a master basket weaver. Our f a m i l y possesses a few of Martha's baskets and consider them a treasure beyond p r i c e . T e i t (1930) made reference to the c o i l e d root basketry of the Thompsons as a popular trade item. The Okanagan made comparatively few baskets... the Athapascan Stuwi'x were the only people who made no c o i l e d baskets but procured them from the Thompsons, some Thompsons who i n t e r m a r r i e d and l i v e d w i t h them made baskets, (p.223) Martha c o n t i n u a l l y made baskets. My father s a i d that when he was a l i t t l e boy he would go up the h i l l s w i t h h i s 57 grandmother to get cedar roots so she could make baskets. One time I took my mother to the Museum of Anthropology. She recognized Martha's baskets by the patterns. We looked up the donor of the baskets, i t was a judge from M e r r i t t . (Personal communication) My s i s t e r S h i r l e y S t e r l i n g has i n her possession a stone hammer, one of the tools most probably belonging to and acquired by our great grandfather through trade. I t was stored i n the blacksmith shop at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. These implements were mentioned by James T e i t (1900) "Stone hammers and hand hammers were imported from the L i l l o o e t . " (Smithsonian Papers p.183) Joeyaska and h i s family adapted to the new laws of land ownership by; occupation, making improvements and c u l t i v a t i o n at the same time pursuing t r a d i t i o n a l subsistence as a way of l i f e . Thomas Berger (1985) summarized the subsistence l i f e s t y l e , "Subsistence i n actual fact i s a complicated economic system, and i t demands the organized labor of p r a c t i c a l l y every man, woman and c h i l d i n a v i l l a g e . " (p.56) There were unwritten laws which ensured proper game and land management, conserving the resources, never taking more than was necessary and leaving some f i s h , game and plants f o r the perpetuation of the species. I had learned t h i s custom of hard work and respect of the land from my father, who learned i t from hi s parents and grandparents. George Manual 1979, remembers s i m i l a r teachings. "I r e c a l l our t r a d i t i o n a l c h i e f s leading the people i n t o the f i e l d s to tend the crops. The men would work at the harvesting or planting or c l e a r i n g 58 the i r r i g a t i o n ditches according to season." (p.41) My mother's grandfather Yapskin, was a hereditary c h i e f . She has o r a l accounts about the role of ch i e f s , she s a i d that i n the past, the chief was l i k e a servant. That the people could depend upon the chief to be honest and h e l p f u l i n times of need. However, the St e r l i n g s have yet to witness such compassion from past and present chiefs of the Lower N i c o l a Band. T r i b a l Councils have had the power to set p o l i c i e s regarding CP's or C e r t i f i c a t e of Possession. A f t e r 1972, no CP's were granted. Despite the fact that my father claimed ownership, inhabited and worked the whole of the property, he was granted only 16 acres as CP land. The chiefs had development plans for the remainder of the Joeyaska lands because they had knowledge that the Coqhihalla Highway was being b u i l t along the property known as Joeyaska North. Another factor which prevented my father gaining CP f o r h i s land was that a number of vacant houses on h i s property were inhabited by people from other reserves for seasonal or temporary shelter. Some of these 'squatters' began la y i n g claim to the land. Indian agents and chiefs supported t h e i r claims. My father wrote l e t t e r s of protest, however, h i s l e t t e r s were ignored. DIA and band p o l i c i e s have been inconsistent regarding Joeyaska's pre-empted land. A forum was held i n 1986 by the Lower Nicola Band to determine i f land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 was considered Band Land or S t e r l i n g property. Deana S t e r l i n g attended the meeting. She remembers the words 59 of the l a t e Harriet Paul, descendant of Chief C h i l l h i t z a . The i n t e r p r e t e r was Okanagan speaker, Herb Manuel, from Douglas Lake. No one has the r i g h t to take the land away from the S t e r l i n g s . Joeyaska gave the land to h i s sons and daughter. His daughter Sarah Joeyaska passed the land to her son Albert S t e r l i n g . You young people should leave them alone. (Personal Communication) To date, past and present chiefs have yet to heed the words of elders regarding o r a l t r a d i t i o n and the r i g h t f u l ownership of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. Since the mid 1980's the S t e r l i n g family has retained lawyers to help point out errors to the c h i e f s . The land question has never been s e t t l e d , however, development schemes have been put on hold. My mother, Sophie S t e r l i n g i s adamant about who owns the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. She has never f a l t e r e d i n her b e l i e f that the land belonged to her husband, Albert S t e r l i n g , my father, and that the land now belongs to her and her c h i l d r e n and grandchildren. 60 CHAPTER FOUR The Indians were n a t u r a l r i d e r s , strong fencers and f i n e teamsters but casual farmers. (Wooliams 1979, p. 63) Once Joeyaska secured the land he made a great e f f o r t at s e t t l i n g i n . He took Lot 11 below Iron Mountain which c o n s i s t e d of 320 acres and which l a t e r became known as I n s h i s k t ( l i t t l e v a l l e y ) or Joeyaska Indian Reserve Number Two, and s e t t l e d there w i t h h i s f a m i l y . ( S t e r l i n g 1998 p.20) Family h i s t o r y t e l l s that Joeyaska worked very hard c l e a r i n g brush from the f i e l d s i n order to c u l t i v a t e and produce crops f o r h i s l i v e s t o c k . He u t i l i z e d the n a t u r a l grass which grew i n the swampy f i e l d s and he planted vegetable gardens. He b u i l t a p i t house at f i r s t than l a t e r b u i l t a wood frame house past the road that cuts through the land. This road l a t e r became the M e r r i t t - P r i n c e t o n Highway. Occupying the land and p u t t i n g up b u i l d i n g s shows that Joeyaska complied w i t h the order of the day concerning 'pre- empting land and making improvements.' Governor Douglas i n 1862 answered the question; were Indian people allowed to buy and pre-empt land p r e c i s e l y as a white man could? His r e p l y was that " P r o v i s i o n s w i l l be made fo r p e r m i t t i n g Indians to h o l d land under pre-emption on the f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s : F i r s t , that they r e s i d e continuously on t h e i r farms. Second, that they b u i l d thereon a house of squared logs, T h i r d , that they c l e a r , enclose and c u l t i v a t e . . . " (Drake-Terry 1989 p.87) These c o n d i t i o n s were followed by 61 Joeyaska. His barn s t i l l stands today, however the house he had b u i l t burned down i n 1920. The wooden r a i l fences have been replaced with barb wire and have been repaired and up kept over the years. The hay f i e l d s continue to be harvested. Horses had always been important to Joeyaska, he b u i l t a barn for the horses and the few c a t t l e he owned, as well as a c o r r a l i n the v i c i n i t y of h i s wood frame house. (Personal Communication 1998) Joeyaska and Martha had three chi l d r e n . Stloopa, Barnes and Sarah were born at Inshiskt (Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2). As previously mentioned Sarah worked on the wagon or 'pack' t r a i n s with her husband Charlie S t e r l i n g , t h e i r youngest son Albert, my father stayed with the grandparents. I heard from my mother Sophie S t e r l i n g that Joeyaska taught my father everything he knew for h i s f i r s t s i x years of l i f e . For example, how to l i v e a subsistence l i f e s t y l e of snaring small game, hunting, f i s h i n g and gathering roots and b e r r i e s . He shared c u l t u r a l knowledge and s p i r i t u a l teachings. My father followed i n many of the t r a d i t i o n a l ways of h i s grandfather. For example, he b u i l t a sweat lodge to 'cleanse' along one of the deeper ditches of running water among the pine trees. He went on a 'vision quest' where he fasted and bathed i n the cold water. He t o l d my s i s t e r Deanna that he didn't 'see any v i s i o n . ' However, we know that elders do not speak about r e l i g i o u s or s p i r i t u a l experiences, these are kept to oneself. My father sang drum songs and 'received h i s own song.' My father learned the basics of horsemanship and land 62 management from Joeyaska. Joe Giron, Apache Range Manager summarizes the F i r s t Nations r e l a t i o n s h i p with the land that describes my father and his grandfather's land stewardship "We belong to the land. We express our f e e l i n g s f o r the land by the way we take care of i t . We are naturals at land management." (Video 1983) One day my mother was chuckling because she remembered something my father t o l d her about h i s l i f e as a c h i l d . "Your father worked very hard as a c h i l d , he had to help h i s grandparents everyday, a l l day long. They ate the same things each day. Once i n a while f o r a tr e a t h i s grandmother would put some drie d saskatoon b e r r i e s i n h i s mush (dried b i t t e r roots were cooked l i k e mush) and he thought that was just wonderful." Joeyaska made sure that he and h i s family were well provided for regarding the basics of food, s h e l t e r and c l o t h i n g . He b u i l t fences along h i s property l i n e s to keep out other l i v e s t o c k otherwise he'd have no hay. They lacked f o r nothing. My father learned how to l i v e o f f the land, to make deer hide c l o t h i n g . The work eth i c he had learned from his grandfather was, "If you want to eat you have to work." (Sarah Stewart 1999) She s a i d that was a teaching he passed on to her and her c h i l d r e n . My mother sa i d t h i s was a teaching my father learned from h i s grandfather. In 1903 at age seven my father was enrolled at a school f o r the l o c a l children, i t was located several miles away. Joeayska placed great importance upon education and gave him a horse to ride back and f o r t h to school. One of the 63 students who was a classmate l a t e r became Judge Henry C o s t i l l i o u . (Personal communication) Later my father was sent to St. Louis College for boys i n New Westminster f o r two years u n t i l h i s t u i t i o n was no longer paid f o r . This school l a t e r burned down. Because he was 'status' my father was sent to St. Mary's Residential School at Mission, B.C. For s i x years he heard nothing from home, no one from h i s family v i s i t e d him. My s i s t e r S h i r l e y remembered some of the things our dad t o l d her about l i f e at school. She wrote, "I think of the smart boy at r e s i d e n t i a l school, held back because he i s Aboriginal. Dad had a c y n i c a l side. Probably t h i s came of l i v i n g i n a r e s i d e n t i a l school f o r years without going home or having v i s i t o r s and seeing c h i l d r e n beaten so badly they became crip p l e d . " It was while my father attended r e s i d e n t i a l school that he experienced some of the worst treatment and punishment by the Catholic p r i e s t s and brothers. Chief Simon Baker recounted s i m i l a r treatment at St. George's Residential School i n Lytton where a supervisor named Mr. Timmins used extreme punishment f o r an offense. "Mr. Timmins h i t Wilfred with a great b i g leather strap that he used to t i e the cows' legs." (Khot La Cha 1994 p.33) It was such a shocking sight f o r Simon to witness that he decided to run away from school that night. L i t t l e d i d Joeyaska know that when he sent h i s grandson to distant schools f o r an education that he would be subjected to rules and regulations drawn up "to di s s o c i a t e the Indian c h i l d from deleterious home influences...to 64 reclaim them from the u n c i v i l i z e d state." (Furniss 1992 p.22) Unbeknownst to most F i r s t Nations, a piece of l e g i s l a t i o n known as the Indian Act gave government agents and missionaries powers to control, enforce and promote an a s s i m i l a t i o n p o l i c y . Fortunately, my father had been t r a i n e d from an e a r l y age by h i s grandfather to stand up f o r himself. When he was fourteen years o l d my father had witnessed a nun and a p r i e s t k i s s i n g , he was caught and punished severely. It was then he and two boys from the Neskonlith Band decided to run away from school. They packed raw vegetables i n a sack and t i e d sheets together to climb down the wall to the ground. They ran at night and h i d during the day following a path along the r a i l r o a d tracks. They saw the p r i e s t s and p o l i c e walking along the tracks looking for them. (Sophie Sterling) It was the law to attend school u n t i l the age of sixteen. My father l i v e d i n hiding f o r two years. He changed h i s name from Frederick to Albert, he went to h i s home at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 and found out that h i s grandfather had died i n 1906. His mother said no one knew where he was at, but that the a u t h o r i t i e s had come looking for him. My father t o l d everyone that he would rather die than go back to that school. He was deeply grieved at the loss of h i s beloved grandfather who had l e f t a well-trained pony complete with gear f o r h i s grandson. Joeyaska must have had a sense of humour, he named the pony 'Poopoolinek'. With his pony my father was able to ride to i s o l a t e d ranches i n the Nicola V a l l e y to work. It i s at those ranches where he learned how to do a l l the work associated with ranching. Nina Wooliams 65 made note of F i r s t Nations workers regarding ranches. "The r i d e r s , farmers, fencers, teamsters and chore boys caring f o r the c a t t l e at Douglas Lake were predominatly Indians from Spahomin,- Okanagans, Athapaskans and Thompsons." (Cattle Ranch 1979 p.63) My father learned to 'break wild horses f o r r i d i n g and f o r p u l l i n g wagons or machinery.' (Austin S t e r l i n g 1999) He became a cowboy and entered rodeos u n t i l he rode a skinny horse at which time he chose to be a rodeo announcer. Author Nina Wooliams (1979) summed up the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of cowboys. "In those days of the west, a cowboy was an a l l round man of the range. He could r i d e any horse, mean or gentle, break, shoe, pack and care f o r a horse." (p.158) When I was a l i t t l e g i r l I l i k e d to watch my father make horse shoes by heating a metal rod t i l l i t was red hot, then shaping i t on the a n v i l , cooling i t i n water and measuring i t on the horse's hoof. That b l a s t of steam h i s s i n g i n the water as the red rod cooled was f a s c i n a t i n g . In order to prevent the horses' feet from wearing down, i t was necessary to make horse shoes. My father c a r r i e d out the chores important enough f o r the protection of his horses and li v e s t o c k as well as taking care of a l l other d e t a i l s needed fo r the well being of his stock. By the time my father turned seventeen years of age, he had been well trained and had become adept at carrying out a l l the chores required to run a ranch. When he was eighteen years o l d the F i r s t World War broke out i n Germany. It i s t o l d that he was so pleased to sign up f o r service 66 that he l e f t h i s horse and gear at Douglas Lake where he had been a wrangler. He never went back to claim them. I have been t o l d that my father was s t i l l i n hiding when he signed up f o r service. Wooliams (1979) described the state of the large c a t t l e ranches as 'having a skelton crew' during the F i r s t World War. "Canadian men who had gone into the army made labour scarce." (p.121) On the a p p l i c a t i o n form to j o i n the army my father stated that he had been born at N i c o l a . Under trade; my father wrote, "Teamster." He e x c e l l e d with horses. My father served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force with many F i r s t Nations who l i k e himself were great horsemen, had learned to l i v e close to the land and were excellant marksmen. It i s written i n one war journal that, "Many Natives became snipers or reconnaissance scouts, drawing upon t r a d i t o n a l hunting and m i l i t a r y s k i l l s to deadly e f f e c t . " (Summerby 1970 p.9) Those s k i l l s kept my father a l i v e at the B a t t l e of Vimy Ridge. My brother Austin S t e r l i n g r e l a t e d some information about horses i n the F i r s t World War. He s a i d our dad t o l d him about how impressed he was with the well t r a i n e d horses because they stood s t i l l even during the loudest gunfire. (Personal Communication) My father was l i s t e d i n rank as 'Private' having served with the 121st and 102nd Battalions. (Army Records) My mother s a i d that s h o r t l y before he was wounded at Ypres my father f e l t alone and desolate, everyone around him was shot down. My father s a i d a prayer and blacked out. He woke up 67 i n a h o s p i t a l and when the war was over he returned home to Joeayska Indian Reserve #2. Army records state that he was i n a h o s p i t a l i n Seaford, England. His uncle Barnes was very proud of him and therefore gave him the land at Joeayska South, on the west side of the Merritt-Princeton Highway and one f i e l d which extended across the highway i n to Joeyaska North. When other Canadian s o l d i e r s returned from the war, they were given land. Woolliams (1979) stated, "Canada rewarded her s o l d i e r s with a free land grant of 160 acres." (Cattle Ranch p.125) However, my father refused to take any land. He was s a t i s f i e d to i n h e r i t the land at Joeyaska South. He married h i s f i r s t wife, Annie Simpson, an Okanagan from Vernon, B.C. She gave b i r t h to a daughter Agnes. Annie died i n 1929, t h e i r daughter Agnes was r a i s e d by her grandmother Sarah Joeyaska. Agnes remembers l i f e at Inshiskt (Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2) as "working a l l the time." She sa i d her father d i d a l o t of good work, he ra i s e d horses and c a t t l e , and had a large garden. He b u i l t a granary shed and planted oats, cut hay i n h i s f i e l d s and others' f i e l d s , c a l l e d 'contracting hay' where he took a crew of men to someone else's f i e l d to 'put up hay' for a portion of t h e i r crop or a wage. Her fun time was horseback r i d i n g . Agnes married a rancher Tommy Hewitt and l i v e d i n Wallachin f o r many years. She i s now r e t i r e d and l i v e s i n Spences Bridge, B.C. My father d i d not immediately marry again but had a son Patrick who was also raised by Sarah, the grandmother at 68 Joeayska ( I n s h i s k t ) . P a t r i c k remembers h i s father 'working both sides of the reserve' Joeyaska North and South i n the summer p u t t i n g up the hay. He s a i d that Alan C o l l e t t e , l a t e r the mayor of M e r r i t t , leased the land at Joeyaska North f o r g r a z i n g h i s c a t t l e and f o r the hay. P a t r i c k was r a i s e d by h i s grandmother Sarah whose Indian name was Pow Tan Maalks, or Maalks f o r short. He c a l l e d her Maalks and s a i d that Maalks took i n s e v e r a l c h i l d r e n and r a i s e d them. However he was sent to the Kamloops Indian R e s i d e n t i a l School. P a t r i c k has s i x sons, many grandchildren. Now r e t i r e d P a t r i c k and Donna l i v e i n M e r r i t t . He serves on the Lower N i c o l a Indian Band as e l e c t e d c o u n c i l o r . Deanna S t e r l i n g wrote that, Joeyaska l e f t the ranch, To h i s sons, Barnes and Stloopa. Joeyaska South went to Barnes who died i n the 1918 f l u epidemic, the land went to Sarah then to A l b e r t . Joeyaska North went to Joeyaska's son Stloopa who l e f t i t to h i s daughter Angeline Bent. (1998 p.27) My f a t h e r married Sophie Voght, grand daughter of W i l l i a m Voght Sr. i n 1935. Their f i r s t c h i l d Robert W i l l i a m was born i n 1937. My mother i s e i g h t y three years o l d , she remembers, A l b e r t purchased a cedar frame house downtown. I t took two days and s i x teams of horses and twenty men to b r i n g the house up to Joeyaska by r o l l i n g logs under the house. She has t o l d me that when she moved to her new home at Joeyaska, Sarah, her mother-in-law had a m i l k cow and s i x beef cows and s e v e r a l horses, and chickens and that she took great p r i d e i n her currant and gooseberry bushes. There was 69 a well, a pond and a root c e l l a r , a barn and a blacksmith shop and a c o r r a l . A meat house or shed was b u i l t to hang deer meat, my father was a hunter. A large vegetable garden was ploughed and planted by my father and had to be tended every summer. My mother milked the cow everyday, and made butter with the cream. Saskatoon be r r i e s grew i n abundance along the creeks and ditches i n summer. She picked and d r i e d them f o r winter as well as making jam and preserves. She helped put up the hay and cooked f o r the haying crew who helped my father i n the summers. She noted that my father purchased more beef c a t t l e which required summer grazing pastures. This involved branding the calves i n spring and herding them up to Quilchena Creek to graze where other F i r s t Nations brought t h e i r c a t t l e . She said that with the r i g h t amount of water from the i r r i g a t i o n ditches, they could get two crops of hay to feed the cows during the winter. One summer there was no water, they had to buy the hay which was too expensive. My father b u i l t a wooden flume hundreds of feet long to carry water from another source up the h i l l . That flume has p a r t l y disintegrated but i t can be seen today. It represents the c r u c i a l need for water to i r r i g a t e the f i e l d s , and i t meant a l o t of hard work on the part of my dad. My brother Robert was born i n 1937, Frederick was born two years l a t e r . They were brought up with the family at the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 u n t i l school age then they spent the summers with the family who by that time were 70 l i v i n g near Princeton, 1941-1945. My father was r e c r u i t e d by the R.C.M.P to be a guard at a Japanese Internment camp f o r men who were b u i l i n g a road from Princeton to Hope. This camp was 60 miles from M e r r i t t . He served i n Number "A" Company Veteran Guards of Canada. My mother remembered that i t wasn't so much to guard the Japanese as i t was to protect them from an angry pu b l i c . It appears that many of the veterans who were re c r u i t e d to guard the Japanese were good men. Many were l i k e my father, veterans from World War One. A r a c i s t population i n 1941 reacted i n mass h y s t e r i a and dir e c t e d t h e i r government to send the Japanese people away from the coast "for t h e i r own protection." (Broadfoot 1976 P80) I asked my mother i f my father f e l t any anger toward the Japanese. She s a i d no. "It i s because Albert was a 'half-breed' that he harbored no hatred or bitterness toward the Japanese. He could sympathize with the Japanese because he himself suffered under s i m i l a r conditions at r e s i d e n t i a l school." (Interview 1997) I asked why my father l e f t h i s land at Joeyaska. There were several reasons. For instance, an army paycheck was a bonus. Fred Gaffen (1972) remarked about F i r s t Nations men who were w i l l i n g to j o i n the service. "The war had a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t , usually an improved income." (p.68) Another reason was the fac t that i n 1939 Sarah Joeyaska, my father's mother, had been k i l l e d . People who wanted the land at Joeyaska said my father had murdered his mother, as a r e s u l t my father spent four months i n j a i l . He was not g u i l t y but had to prove i t . His childhood f r i e n d 71 came to the defense, lawyer Henry C o s t i l l i o u won the case for him. Henry's "good work f o r the Indians" i s mentioned i n the book The Fourth World, 1979 (Manuel p.116) Years l a t e r my father interpreted i n the courts for Henry C o s t i l l i o u . My brother Fred t o l d me that t h i s incident i n 1939 was a very d i f f i c u l t and discouraging experience f o r our dad. He spent four years as a guard at the Princeton internment camp, coming home to Joeyaska for a couple of days a month on h i s days o f f . He l e f t the haying and care of the c a t t l e to h i s brother Eddie S t e r l i n g who owned a ranch to the south of Joeyaska. Eddie harvested the hay and grazed my father's c a t t l e on the f i e l d s at Joeyaska North as was customary by my father depending upon the water supply. My father had previously seeded the hayfields at both Joeyaska South and North. He grazed h i s c a t t l e there also. My mother didn't l i k e being i n a cabin near Princeton because the camp was a deserted coal mine complete with r a i l tracks and empty tunnels that served as bear dens. She f e l t a f r a i d of the bears and a f r a i d of the Japanese. My father had warned her not to t a l k to any Japanese i f she encountered them. However my brother Fred had no fear of the Japanese. He t o l d me that "The Japanese seemed to sense that we had no bad f e e l i n g s towards them. There was always a f r i e n d l y banter between them and our dad." He recounted a story of the time when he and our l a t e brother Robert were walking near a tunnel with our dad when they came face to face with a g r i z z l y bear. Fred said that, "Our dad immediately picked up 72 a tree limb and gave a loud war whoop and charged toward the bear. The bear ran o f f . " Fred said that he wasn't a f r a i d of anything a f t e r that. When Robert and Fred were of school age they were sent to the Kamloops Indian Residential School along with F i r s t Nations c h i l d r e n who were 'Status' Indians r e g i s t e r e d with the Department of Indian A f f a i r s . The e s t a b l i s h i n g of boarding schools i s a p a i n f u l reminder about who was behind the government's decision to b u i l d and s t a f f these schools. "The b e l i e f s about Native i n f e r i o r i t y that served to l e g i t i m i z e church and government control over Native people mirrored p r e v a i l i n g b e l i e f s within Euro-Canadian society." (Furniss 1983 p.108) However, my brothers Robert and Fred attended the school for four years when my father took them out. This i s the story my mother t o l d me about why Robert and Fred attended the public school i n the town of Me r r i t t , B.C. when the rest of us ch i l d r e n had no choice but to go to the r e s i d e n t i a l school i n Kamloops. One day we went to v i s i t Robert and Fred at the Indian School i n Kamloops. We asked the administrator to get our boys so we could v i s i t them. He s a i d no, they were picking tomatoes i n the f i e l d . Albert refused to accept that, he demanded that they be brought out. We took them out that day and put them i n the public school. Robert l i v e d with h i s uncle Joe S t e r l i n g and aunt E l i z a b e t h at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 for one year of school when my parents were i n Princeton at the Japanese internment camp They occupied one of the vacant houses at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2, however, they d i d not help with the care of the ranch. There was always extended family l i v i n g there, my 73 grandmother Shanny Voght, l i v e d at Joeyaska and fed the chickens and tended the gardens. My parents d i d not give up t h e i r home. A f t e r the war my parents and t h e i r toddlers Sarah and Deanna moved back home to Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 to stay. It was during the years between 1941 and 1945 that the Department of Indian A f f a i r s made decisions regarding the north f i e l d of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 because t h i s was the only time that my father was away from h i s land. Upon returning to Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 my father saw the changes that were made without h i s knowledge. His f i e l d at Joeyaska North was leased out. My mother said that several times my father went to the Indian Agent's o f f i c e to t r y and cl e a r up the matter of h i s 'leased' f i e l d s only to be t o l d that the o f f i c i a l was not av a i l a b l e . Yet his car was parked outside. Deanna S t e r l i n g wrote, Joeyaska's granddaughter, Angeline from Stloopa, married N e i l Bent from Shulus. N e i l , i n trouble with the law, f l e d to Chopaka Reserve near Keremeos. Angeline and her chi l d r e n followed him l a t e r leaving Joeyaska North i n the care of her 'nephews' Antoine and Jimmy Spahan, with the i n t e n t i o n of returning at a future date. Angeline's daughter, Mary A l l i s o n (personal communication 1986), maintained that her family had never f o r f e i t e d t i t l e to Joeyaska North. (St e r l i n g 1998, p.21) From 1945 to today, Joeyaska's children, l i v e d on, worked on the land despite the squatters and incor r e c t band p o l i c i e s . For example, i n 1939 the Merritt-Princeton Highway s p l i t the land at Joeyaska i n t o North and South. This not only p a r t i t i o n e d the land but i t destroyed an important water 74 supply to the f i e l d s at Joeyaska North. That i s why i n some years my father could not cut hay i n his f i e l d across the highway. Another factor of c o n f l i c t was that i n 1953 Indian Agent A.E Sharpe l i s t e d squatters as owners of land when the Trans Mountain Gas Pipeline went through the land at Joeyaska. This agent did not consult with my father, he dealt with the chief and council of the Lower Nicola Band. Joeyaska's grandchildren and now the great great grandchildren know that we have never f o r f e i t e d t i t l e to any of the land North or South at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. No one has any ri g h t to take the land from us. When my father took over the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 he asserted h i s r i g h t to occupy and u t i l i z e the land. He made that very c l e a r . I heard a story about an incident where my father asserted himself i n true warrior s p i r i t i n the ea r l y 1970's. The chief of the Lower Nicola Band came by to inform your father that he had sold the timber on a l l band land including Joeyaska. You dad didn't say anything, he went and got h i s gun and t o l d the chief, "Get the h e l l o f f of my land." The chief jumped into h i s car and sped o f f . (Personal Communication) The timber remains to t h i s day. Trees s h i e l d the c a t t l e during snow and windstorms. Calves are born among the pine trees. The timber now provides a buffer against the heavy t r a f f i c of the Coquihalla Highway. My father also took on the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of caretaker of t h i s inheritance and b i r t h r i g h t . He c a r r i e d on i n the maintenance of f i e l d s , fences, ditches as well as family o b l i g a t i o n s . When he passed away i n 1973, my mother c a r r i e d on as matriarch and 'cu l t u r a l professor' of the family. 75 However, she has f e l t the brunt of the d i s p a r i t y between the Lower Nicola Band and the S t e r l i n g s of Joeyaska. My s i s t e r Deanna wrote about i t . The f r u s t r a t e d t r i b a l council and l o c a l council have subjected the Joeyaskans to a l l manner of punishment from boycotting them from t r i b a l employment, band benefits and gaining a c e r t i f i c a t e of land possession. Sophie S t e r l i n g has been driven v i r t u a l l y to d i s t r a c t i o n by the harassment over the decades by the l o c a l t r i b a l leaders. Other land owners are not subjected to such treatment. (St e r l i n g 1998 p.20-21) Joeyaska knew and understood that the 320 acres were h i s property. Sproat made that c l e a r i n 1878. "Property r i g h t s were binding. Sproat respected them, so d i d the government and the courts..." (Harris 1997 p.127) My father spoke the Ntla'kapmux and Okanagan languages, he was an in t e r p r e t e r i n the courts for people who could not speak English. He knew the laws and his words were true. My mother s a i d that he helped elders s e t t l e land disputes. She s a i d many times an elder would come i n a t a x i to get my father to go and help s e t t l e people's land problems. Sproat's decision i n 1878 to grant Joeyaska the land was binding. My father knew that and he l i v e d on that p r i n c i p l e . The errors that have been made by Indian agents, c h i e f s and claimants regarding land ownership of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 need to be corrected. 76 CHAPTER FIVE The Indian peoples have a t r a d i t i o n and a c u l t u r e to o f f e r to the world. (Manuel 1979 p.265) When l o o k i n g at the whole p i c t u r e of the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 i t i s important to go f u l l c i r c l e and take note of A l b e r t And Sophie S t e r l i n g ' s c h i l d r e n and grandchildren. I t i s necessary to see the r o l e s and the parts we p l a y today i n the m a i n t a i n i n g of t r a d i t i o n s i n i t i a t e d by our great grandfather Joeyaska. What has t h i s w a r r i o r , rancher, s u r v i v o r , i n s p i r e d and i n s t i l l e d i n h i s descendants. Mother, Sophie S t e r l i n g Sophie S t e r l i n g has l i v e d at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 f o r 64 years, w i t h the exception of the four years spent at the Japanese Internment Camp i n Princeton, B.C. She has been the heart of the S t e r l i n g Clan, n o u r i s h i n g and n u r t u r i n g her c h i l d r e n and grandchildren and now great grandchildren. At age 83, she has a strong heart though her a b i l i t y to get around has been slowed by a r t h r i t i s and diabetes. Her mind i s f u l l of care and concern f o r her o f f s p r i n g . Her long term memory i s keen and a l e r t yet. The greatest t h r i l l f o r my mother i s that we come to v i s i t her or c a l l her on the phone. P i c k i n g b e r r i e s i n the h i l l s or f i e l d s comes second. From my e a r l i e s t r e c o l l e c t i o n s I r a r e l y saw my mother s i t down. She was always busy from morning t i l l n i ght and many times she 77 worked alongside my father on the ranch. What impressed me most was her cooking talent, such good food probably because i t was homegrown. When we were children on any Sunday of the year one of the missionary p r i e s t s would s i t down to dinner with us. I t was natural to witness such h o s p i t a l i t y . Any one who v i s i t e d our home received the best that my parents had to o f f e r . My mother learned at an early age that i t i s important to have a thankful heart. That i s where i t begins f o r her and that i s the most important lesson she has taught me. My mother i s very much l i k e her own mother i n so many ways f o r example, showing kindness, sharing with others, g i v i n g time to l i s t e n to others and valuing s p i r i t u a l i t y above a l l e l s e . Her hard work and love i n s p i r e d me to survive the hardest times at r e s i d e n t i a l school. She has always been patient with me i n the teachings of our language and culture. Her devotion has been unconditional. Over the course of t h e i r 3 8 year marriage my father t o l d her everything he knew. Anytime I need information I just have to ask. My father passed away at the age of 77 i n 1973. My mother t e l l s me that he v i s i t s her i n dreams. Robert William S t e r l i n g My brother, the l a t e Robert William S t e r l i n g Sr. was given Joeyaska's Indian name 1Sheshuluskin' (Red Sun Rising Over the Mountain) at b i r t h . He had red ha i r f o r which he most probably received a l o t of attention as well as h i s name. Because he was 'status' Indian he attended Kamloops Indian Residential School i n 1943 for s i x years. In 1949 our 78 parents took Robert and Fred out and enr o l l e d them i n public school i n the town of Me r r i t t , B.C. In the 1940's and 50's i f 'status' c h i l d r e n l i v e d within walking distance to a pub l i c school, they were allowed to attend. Robert and Fred would run the mile and a h a l f distance to the school. One time Robert t o l d me that he and Fred walked to school on a cold day but the school was locked. They waited around f o r an hour t i l l a woman came out to say that there was no school when the temperature reached 50 below zero. What Robert hadn't s a i d was that he and Fred were healthy rugged boys who were used to hard work and the outdoors, our dad made sure everyone of h i s chil d r e n helped out with the ranch at Joeyaska no matter what the weather. They hadn't noticed i t was any colder than usual he said . They j u s t walked home again. Robert accomplished many goals i n his l i f e t i m e . For example i n 1956 he was the f i r s t Ntla'kapmux to graduate from high school i n the Nicola Valley. Both Robert and Fred set 'Attendance Records' at school which have yet to be matched. They were remarkable students. Twenty years l a t e r Robert graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major i n Psychology. In looking over the accomplishments of Robert's l i f e , there are words such as 'he pioneered' many f i r s t s i n the f i e l d of education and he was involved with several 'breakthroughs' i n F i r s t Nations education. He was an a c t i v e member i n the B.C. Native Teachers Ass o c i a t i o n (BCNITA) and i n t h e i r getting o f f i c i a l recognition from the 79 B.C. Teacher's Federation. In the memorial about Robert, free lance j o u r n a l i s t Lynn Jorgensen wrote that he was " i n t e g r a l to the formation of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP). Robert could e a s i l y have become a dominant leader on the p r o v i n c i a l or national scene, but such was h i s devotion to his family and the land where he was born that i n 1977 he opted to return to h i s roots i n the Nicola V a l l e y . " (Memorial Publication 1983) I remember Robert taking h i s ch i l d r e n to the h i l l s p i c k i n g b e r r i e s , camping overnight with the rest of us. They b u i l t a boat together and l i k e d f i s h i n g at i s o l a t e d lakes f o r trout. Robert donned o l d denims on weekends and holidays, he enjoyed the outdoors with family and friends, e s p e c i a l l y when hi s v e h i c l e got stuck i n the mud, the more mud the better. On Monday morning Robert was back i n a s u i t and t i e at the o f f i c e . His e f f o r t s among students were rewarded, "when the Nicola V a l l e y attained the highest per capita r a t i o of native high school graduates i n the en t i r e country." (Memorial P u b l i c a t i o n 1983) I remember when Robert worked to increase educational success and how he was met with opposition when he d i d not promote a 'rodeo school.' His opponents picketed his o f f i c e . That was a lonely and d i f f i c u l t time for him. (Personal memory) Robert was a family man with strong connections to parents, brothers and s i s t e r s , nieces and nephews and r e l a t i v e s . Christmas holidays, family birthdays, i c e - f i s h i n g derbys, weddings and funerals were the times and places that Robert would be at. Robert wrote of himself, 80 By t r a d i t i o n and upbringing I am a hunter and fisherman. I can tan hides, pick berries, make baskets. I can break and t r a i n a horse. I love the wilderness and seek out uninhabited areas for s p i r i t u a l solitude and relaxation. When Roberts' son the l a t e Corey Owen S t e r l i n g went hunting fo r the f i r s t time, he was a l i t t l e b i t disappointed to have to give away a l l of the deer meat. T r a d i t i o n required that a young boy's f i r s t , k i l l was to be shared, he wasn't allowed to keep any f o r himself. James T e i t 1900, mentioned a boy's puberty ceremonial. "He must become f a m i l i a r with the deer and salmon, the pursuit of which w i l l occupy much of h i s time i n future years and f u r n i s h him with most of h i s food." (The Thompson Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia p.380) I was very happy and t h r i l l e d to have been a witness to Ntla'kapmux t r a d i t i o n and to Corey's f i r s t hunting experience. His eyes sparkled with pride as he shyly handed me a piece of tenderloin. (Personal Memory) Robert taught h i s son Corey i n the t r a d i t i o n passed on from h i s father who learned from h i s grandfather Joeyaska. Robert's daughter A l l y s o n has two l i t t l e boys ages three one. In keeping with family t r a d i t i o n the older one named Jack received h i s great grandfather Jimmy Moses' name "Shu- shep" i n August 1997 at a gathering at Lower Nicola. Robert William J r . recently graduated from Simon Fraser U n i v e r s i t y with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring i n Archaelogy. Robert J r . , or Bob, l i v e s at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 i n his l a t e father's house and i s an elected Band Counsellor f o r the Lower Nicola Band. He studies the Ntla'kapmux language 81 and i s working on getting a diploma as a language teacher. Like h i s father and grandfather, Bob i s a fisherman, berry picker, deer hunter and grouse hunter. These p r a c t i s e s of t r a d i t i o n a l l o c a l natives are described i n History of the Nic o l a V a l l e y Indian. "Going hunting and going huckleberry p i c k i n g are extremely popular a c t i v i t i e s and pride i s high among those who go." (Ste r l i n g 1979 p.125) I have seen my mother cleaning grouse or trout that Bob dropped o f f . He continues the t r a d i t i o n of h i s parents and grandparents. " T r a d i t i o n a l sharing i s s t i l l meticulously p r a c t i s e d and maintained." (P126) Bob and his s i s t e r A l l y s o n have i n h e r i t e d the land bordering on the Hope-Princeton Highway at the fork along the road to Coldwater within the 16 acres of 'CP' land designated from our dad to Robert Sr. Robert and his son Corey drowned when t h e i r boat overturned i n the Thompson River on February 26, 1983. Frederick Albert S t e r l i n g My brother Fred was born i n 1939. His Indian name i s "Shnowt" meaning wind. He t o l d me recently about some of the things he learned about the teachings and pract i s e s of our dad. He said that our dad "practised the proper protocol about hunting i n h i s own t e r r i t o r y , he didn't go into anyone else's hunting grounds. He was respe c t f u l i n that l i g h t . " (Interview June 1999) I was speaking to Fred behind h i s home at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2. The water flowed s w i f t l y i n one of the i n i t i a l ditches that i r r i g a t e s the main hay f i e l d s . The same d i t c h that branches o f f from Godey Creek 82 was hewn out more than one hundred years e a r l i e r by our great grandfather Joeyaska. Fred has put up a hay barn near the c o r r a l he recently b u i l t so he can keep an eye on the hay and the c a t t l e . With the town of M e r r i t t expanding around the land of Joeyaska things go missing. He said that our dad d i d a l o t of unseen things around the ranch, for example r i d i n g up the h i l l on horseback to check f o r water f o r a second crop of hay i n l a t e summe. The book Legends of Our Times (1998) made note of the importance of hay. The land on reserves was not l e f t i d l e . Many f a m i l i e s who had access to i r r i g a t i o n systems or a source of water put up hay to feed t h e i r own stock or to s e l l to the larger ranches. (Baillargeon & Tepper p.106) In my father's case he was making a l i v i n g and continuing i n the t r a d i t i o n of h i s grandfather by working on the land. Fred does not cut hay on Joeyaska North. It i s important to document that our dad used to cut the hay there i n previous years. That i s why Joe Lauder recently signed a notarized statement that my father sold hay from the property on Joeyaska North during the Depression of the 1930's to h i s father who owned a ranch at Stump Lake. This i s important to note because i t confirms that our dad was not r e s t r i c t e d to or l i m i t e d to harvesting hay at Joeyaska South. Fred took over running the ranch i n the summer of 1962 when he got married and moved into the new house b u i l t by the Lower Nicola Band. This house i s situated beside the o l d cedar frame house brought up to the land by s i x teams of horses i n 1935. Fred made changes such as haying with machinery, b a i l e r s and stackers rather than h i r e a haying crew who d i d 83 the work by hand and with horses as our dad had done. Fred worked f u l l time at the l o c a l lumber m i l l f o r years and with the help of our aging father looked a f t e r the ranch work. He maintained f i f t y head of c a t t l e , which meant bringing them up to summer grazing at Quilchena Creek f o r s i x months. He s a i d t h i s ranch can only stand a small herd otherwise the purchase of hay gets too expensive. On one occasion I was at home from u n i v e r s i t y f or Thanksgiving weekend i n 1970. The men had ridden the herd for two days bringing them back to the ranch. My father was 74 years o l d at the time and he was i n a f o u l mood. "What are you doing home. Shouldn't you be i n school." He had high expectations of us and the c a t t l e drive got harder with age. On a more recent v i s i t on the May 1st weekend I stayed with my s i s t e r Deanna S t e r l i n g and i n the e a r l y morning we heard dogs barking, the thundering of cows trampling the ground, cowboys hooting and whistling. My brother Fred, age 60, recently recovered from g a l l bladder surgery was on horseback with our r e l a t i v e s d r i v i n g the herd inc l u d i n g the calves up to summer range. Within a few minutes the noise subsided, the cows had moved s w i f t l y . Hay i s generally preferred at the summer range. Fred reminds me of my father i n so many ways. When he said that our dad i n h e r i t e d t h i s land from h i s mother Sarah Joeyaska, I knew that i t was a binding agreement. The spoken word i s packed with importance and meaning. My father i n h e r i t e d the land, he occupied and worked on the land. The land i n turn sustained him and h i s family. I see the homes, the out- 84 buildings, the hay f i e l d s , the fences and the ditches. As long as I have known, Fred has been a hard worker and an ea r l y r i s e r l i k e our dad. He has train e d h i s share of horses, branded and innoculated calves i n spring, sold and purchased a number of b u l l s . His ch i l d r e n and grandchildren are the treasures of h i s l i f e . He has i n h e r i t e d the bulk of the land and l i k e our dad, Fred occupies, works and looks a f t e r the land making sure that the place i s run i n keeping with the teachings of our dad. He takes h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y s e r i o u s l y when maintaining f i e l d s , ditches, fences, the herd. He has a backhoe business as well and considers himself very fortunate to partake i n the best of small time ranching. In 1957 Fred set a new track record i n running the mile. I f e l t very proud of him. The newspaper c l i p p i n g hung on the wall of our house for years. The M e r r i t t Herald news c l i p p i n g stated that he had run the mile i n under f i v e minutes and showed h i s photo. A t r a d i t i o n i n i t i a t e d no doubt when he and his brother Robert raced each other to school every day. Traditions c a r r i e d through the years and continue today. When we spoke together i n June 1999 Fred was working on a deer hide that was stretched and laced on a frame. He sa i d that h i s daughter Jackie wanted to make a drum and he was happy to prepare the deer hide for her, e s p e c i a l l y that p a r t i c u l a r hide. I t had been a b i g buck and he had saved the hide f o r several years before having a good reason to clean i t . Memories came to mind of my father who knew how to tan deer hides. I had asked my mother to ask my father to teach 85 me. She t o l d me h i s answer, "She better prove to me that she can sew f i r s t . " Fred married Lorna Anderson of Spences Bridge. They have f i v e children, t h e i r four daughters received Ntla'kapmux names i n 1997. Rona i s married and l i v i n g near Godey Creek, she has a son and a daughter and i s presently completing a Master's Degree i n So c i a l Work. Jackie l i v e s i n Vancouver and works i n computer graphics. Angie i s married and b u i l d i n g a home near Godey Creek. She has a baby daughter and i s a c e r t i f i e d teacher (SFU) and presently works f o r the Lower Nicola Band as C h i l d Care Worker. L i s a l i v e s i n Coquitlam and i s completing a Ph.D. Their son Frederick i s a computer technician working with the Department of Indian A f f a i r s i n Vancouver. Like Fred, he hunts and goes f i s h i n g . I notice that he works alongside h i s father, branding calves, haying, d r i v i n g the herd up to grazing, or i n the purchasing of a new b u l l , whenever he i s home from the c i t y . Sarah Dorothy Stewart My s i s t e r Sarah was born i n 1941. She was named a f t e r our dad's mother Sarah Joeyaska. As a baby she received the name T z u l - t z u l - l i n e k from friends i n the v i l l a g e of Shulus. Sarah l i v e s i n a double wide t r a i l e r next door to the house my parents moved into i n 1967. Sarah has always l i v e d close to our parents. She worked f o r 2 0 years for Medical Services as a Community Health Representative f o r the Coldwater and Lower Nicola Bands. Her f a v o r i t e time on the job was time spent with elders who knew our parents and grandparents. 86 Hector Stewart, an Okanagan from Douglas Lake, married Sarah 27 years ago. For a short while they l i v e d at Douglas Lake, but moved back to Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 on land that i s considered as part of the ' C e r t i f i c a t e of Possession' or CP'd land (sixteen acres) which belongs to our mother Sophie S t e r l i n g . Sarah and her ch i l d r e n spent a l o t of time with our parents. She said our dad had a b i g influence on her sons, teaching them good work ethics and the importance of being caretakers of the land. Their land i s fenced o f f from the rest of the f i e l d s because they ra i s e horses. At the time Sarah gave me her written information about our dad, she t o l d me about the horses that Hector and her son Ron were breaking i n the f i e l d near t h e i r place. She said that the mare which had j u s t recently given b i r t h to a c o l t had come to disown the c o l t because the 'dry' mare somehow got the a f t e r b i r t h , therefore the hungry c o l t followed the dry mare and was g e t t i n g kicked away. Hector had to hobble and t i e the mother down to set things r i g h t . Together they have ra i s e d three sons and two grandsons, and they continue i n the Ntla'kapmux t r a d i t i o n s of food gathering; they pick mushrooms i n spring, b e r r i e s i n summer, the guys go salmon f i s h i n g and help Fred with branding the calves i n spring and stacking hay bales i n summer. Sarah's oldest son Greg i s i n the Canadian A i r Force, stationed i n Ontario. Ron i s a logger, i n free time he goes elk hunting, salmon f i s h i n g and he smokes f i s h . He l i k e s to take h i s son Corey i c e f i s h i n g i n winter. Sarah's youngest son Ted i s a carpenter and contractor who 87 builds houses. The older grandson Lloyd i s t r a i n i n g to be a meat cutter. Sarah i s presently recovering from a heart attack. Hector i s elected on the Band Counsel f o r the Douglas Lake F i r s t Nations, and he works f u l l time with the Lower Nicola Band as child-care worker. They are a family who love people and enjoy sharing h o s p i t a l i t y . Deanna S t e r l i n g Deanna was born i n 1943. She was named by a p r i e s t at her baptism because he refused to allow her to have the Indian name "La Allema" on her record. She was named a f t e r our mother's mother who was godmother at the baptism. Deanna taught primary grades at the Lower Nicola Band School, she also taught elementary and adult education around the province f o r twenty-four years before completing a Master's Degree i n Education (Ts'kel) at UBC i n 1998. She i s presently the caretaker of our aging mother, Sophie S t e r l i n g . Deanna used to be known as the weekend v i s i t o r u n t i l she f i n a l l y h i r e d a carpenter to b u i l d her a house near Godey Creek i n the area picked out for her by our brother Fred. When she was a l i t t l e g i r l Deanna learned an important lesson from our dad about respecting b i r d s . She t r i e d snaring a t i n y b i r d , our dad stopped her. A f t e r an i n i t i a l s colding he impressed upon her the important role that song birds play i n the environment. Years l a t e r the ch i l d r e n found a featherless s t a r l i n g on the ground and brought i t to Deanna who ra i s e d i t and cared f o r i t for f i v e years t i l l i t died. In 1998 a baby robin was found and brought to Deanna who put 88 aside the writing of her thesis to dig f o r worms and catch bugs and moths. The robin f l o u r i s h e d but Deanna was exhausted, however i n each of the worm p i t s she tossed i n a potato and by summer's end harvested a good crop. Deanna spent as much time as possible with our parents and grandmother, she loves being with elders hearing s t o r i e s and learning about our h i s t o r y . It was natural f o r Deanna to write a Graduating Paper on our family h i s t o r y t i t l e d ; The Joyaska-Voght-Yepskin Clan: A Family Timeline. Deanna loves reading mysteries, she i s a good s t o r y t e l l e r and has a good sense of humour. Deanna also takes our mother out to the f i e l d s and h i l l s to pick herbal teas, mushrooms, b e r r i e s and medicines. I l i k e to follow Deanna when we pick b e r r i e s because she picks only the biggest ones and leaves the smaller more abundant ber r i e s behind. S h i r l e y S t e r l i n g My s i s t e r S h i r l e y or "Seepeetza" was born i n 1948. She presently teaches two days a week at UBC. The other days are divided between marking papers, taking care of her grandson Kieran i n Vancouver, then heading home to the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 to concentrate on writing another novel. Her f i r s t novel My Name Is Seepeetza won the children's B.C. Book Award i n 1993. She t o l d me that the name Seepeetza, which means 'white skin' given to her by our dad has two s i g n i f i c a n t meanings. "The name gave me i n c l u s i o n among the Nlakapamux, and the mythology by which I have been able to make meaning out of my l i f e when nothing else made sense." 89 (Personal Communication 1999) Besides the name our dad gave Seepeetza many g i f t s , f o r example, the upbringing on the Joeyaska Ranch, the t r i p s to the mountains and r i v e r s to learn about our culture, the examle of hard work and generosity and the f e e l i n g of safety when he was around. What she has come to understand a f t e r f i v e years of r e f l e c t i v e thought i s that our dad must have seen the sacred i n a l l things, blessings as well as challenges. The i n s p i r a t i o n to go further i n education and to reach f o r higher goals accompanied by s t o r y t e l l i n g at i t s f i n e s t as well as the sense of humor and imagery voiced by our dad has helped Seepeetza i n her writing. Another important t r a i t i s the bond and connection that l i n k s Seepeetza and her c h i l d r e n and grandson. The deep love that flows to l i t t l e Kieran was born of the acceptance and a f f e c t i o n she received from our parents. When we were chi l d r e n I was aware of the pride my father had f o r Seepeetza, when she raced and won the hundred yard dash on J u l y 1st i n 1960 he beamed with pride. He had s p e c i a l terms of endearment l i k e ; "You have a m i l l i o n d o l l a r smile" and "You're a r e a l square shooter" expressed h i s a f f e c t i o n . "Everything my dad d i d f o r me was a labor of love and he continued to provide f o r me u n t i l h i s death without any hope of reciprocation." (Personal Journal 1999). I can recognize a s i m i l a r labor of love that Seepeetza has f o r her two chi l d r e n . Her son E r i c completed a Diploma i n Forestry and works i n Norther B r i t i s h Columbia. Her daughter Haike recently completed a law degree and works with F i r s t 90 Nations students as Advisor i n the Faculty of Law at UBC. Seepeetza l i v e s at Joeyaska and commutes to Vancouver. Austin S t e r l i n g Austin was born i n 1952. He was given the Indian name "Hepa-Lex-Keyn" by a r e l a t i v e of Sarah Joeyaska, an elder who wanted Austin to have the name. When I went to v i s i t my brother Austin i n July 1999 at his home on the Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 he was h o i s t i n g up the f r e s h l y skinned body of an elk to hang high i n the tree near hi s house. He moved c a r e f u l l y and cautiously when handling the meat and the knives. I t reminded me of the way our dad took great care with the preparation of meat and game, our food supply. A f t e r cleaning the tools Austin t o l d me many things he had learned from our dad. For example, he learned how to plant g r a i n and seed f o r a high q u a l i t y fodder i n the f i e l d s , he learned how to look a f t e r the stock, he fed the cows i n winter and he hunted and fished. He said our dad b u i l t a chicken coop, he cleared i r r i g a t i o n ditches and was very talented i n the care and making of tools needed for ranch work. He p r a c t i c e d s e l e c t i v e hunting, he didn't shoot at every deer he saw, and he was a p r e c i s i o n shooter, causing no harm or pain to the animal, and he l e f t the land i n t a c t , there were no harmful chemicals or sprays allowed on the land. Those are the things that stand out i n Austin's memory of our dad. The things I recognize Austin doing are, continuing i n the t r a d i t i o n a l cleanse i n the sweat lodge, he i s presently studying the t r a d i t i o n a l healing p r a c t i c e s of 91 the Ntla'kapmux. He plays guitar, writes and sings drum songs and c a r r i e s on i n the teachings of our dad. He i s r e s p e c t f u l i n a l l h i s ways. Austin i s an elected C o u n c i l l o r f o r the Lower Nicola Band, he makes his home on the 14 acres given to him by our dad, he wants to l i v e there, i t i s h i s choice. Nk Xetko I am the second youngest c h i l d of Albert and Sophie. My twelve years at the Kamloops Indian Residential School were a p a i n f u l testimony of being wrenched away from parents, home and family. I have since become re-acquainted with my family, history, t r a d i t i o n s and teachings. These connections helped me a t t a i n a Bachelor of Education Degree at UBC i n 1996. I enjoy taking some of the teachings from my culture and developing lessons for classroom use - recontextualizing Ntla'kapmux myth. I check things out with my mother f i r s t . When my father challenged me to learn how to sew I set out immediately with my mother's guidance to make a p a i r of moccasins at age f i f t e e n . Later I had married i n t o the Southern Tutchone Tribe i n the Yukon and l i v e d there f o r f i f t e e n years and r a i s e d my two ch i l d r e n there. It was there among a c u l t u r a l l y t r a d i t i o n a l people that I had the opportunity to learn how to cut and dry salmon, moose meat, tan moose hides and make buckskin c l o t h i n g complete with beadwork. My father's challenge helped me to survive many d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n s i n l i f e . "Do the best you can," he would always say. I took that to heart and t r y to l i v e up to 92 that d i r e c t i v e . My son Darren works as a heavy duty equipment operator and i s a budding writer i n the Yukon. My daughter Nadia i s i n second year sciences at UBC. I have remarried and l i v e at Musqueam. I teach a F i r s t Nations Studies course and a seminar to NITEP students at UBC. I f e e l i t i s important to pr a c t i s e the teachings of my parents and grandparents and some of these I share with my students. For example, I do not k i l l spiders. In Ntla'kapmux legend, i t was Skwok-We the spider who went up to the sky and brought weaving back to our people. When I take anything from the land I give something back i n thanks as taught by my mother and grandmother. Some of my happiest times are spent at family gatherings with the S t e r l i n g s . We share s t o r i e s , swap jokes, pray together, share good food from the land. In an unpublished document 1979, my brother Robert wrote, Through kinship and the extended family system the people had t h e i r own organization - the family. When in d i v i d u a l s had problems or d i f f i c u l t i e s they turned to t h e i r f a m i l i e s f i r s t . Each family was very serious about looking a f t e r t h e i r own. (Ste r l i n g 1979 p.80) Robert voiced concerns that i n modern times the family u n i t was becoming weakened through i n s t i t u t i o n a l and i n d i v i d u a l p u r s u i t s . However, i n and among the S t e r l i n g family, kinship and t i e s to the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 remain strong and i n t a c t . We celebrte birthdays together, we honour the graduates and consider Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 our home. Though my brothers received the bulk of the land from our dad, he made sure that each of his daughters i s provided 93 f o r as well. He t o l d i*s many times when we were growing up that we had a home at Joeyaska Ranch. He gave each of us s i s t e r s one acre apiece i f ever we want to b u i l d a home. We have to consult with the family before choosing the acre. It can't be a hay f i e l d . This i s what carrying on i n Joeyaska's t r a d i t i o n s means, we have a home on h i s land and we have a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of taking care of each other and the land. That i s a culture and a t r a d i t i o n worth keeping and sharing with the world. 94 CONCLUSION In the documented h i s t o r y of the N i c o l a V a l l e y Joeyaska's s t o r y and my fat h e r ' s s t o r y w i l l not be among the w r i t t e n h i s t o r i e s . However, i n speaking to d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s from w i t h i n nearby F i r s t Nations communities and reserves, according to o r a l t r a d i t i o n the name of Joeyaska i s known to the e l d e r s , and A l b e r t S t e r l i n g i s q u i t e w e l l known. Well known i n the sense that he i n t e r p r e t e d f o r people who couldn't speak E n g l i s h , and he was known f o r h i s a b i l i t y to s e t t l e land d i s p u t e s . My f a t h e r was born i n 1896, h i s Indian name was "Inxwhup" which means 'snow on h i s backside.' My brother Fred t o l d me that our dad must have been s l i d i n g d o w n h i l l i n the snow and that name stayed w i t h him. The el d e r s s t i l l t a l k about "Inxwhup." The name sounds l i k e a term of endearment given by a l o v i n g grandfather, Joeyaska. W r i t i n g t h i s t h e s i s has put me i n touch with the men behind the names. When I look at Joeyaska's l i f e I see a w a r r i o r , an i n d u s t r i o u s man of i n t e g r i t y . An example of how much work went i n t o the a c q u i s i t i o n of one musket, James T e i t recorded that i t cost 600 d r i e d salmon f o r one musket i n trade i n the 1800's. (The Jesup Report 1900 P260) My mother s a i d there were no demeaning statements made about Joeyaska, she heard none. J u l i e Cruikshank (1991) elaborates on o r a l t r a d i t i o n . 95 Anyone who has spent time t a l k i n g with elders about t h e i r understanding of the past knows that o r a l accounts are discussed and debated i n communities, and that o r a l t r a d i t i o n i t s e l f i s a l i v e l y , continuous, ongoing process, a way of understanding the present as well as the past. (p.141) I have learned of the ways of Joeyaska by looking at my father's l i f e and hearing the s t o r i e s . In protecting h i s b i r t h r i g h t my father made every e f f o r t to safeguard h i s land f o r h i s c h i l d r e n . He wrote l e t t e r s of protest when squatters began claiming land, t h e i r claims f a l s e l y signed by c h i e f s and Indian Agents. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that each of the f a l s e claimants belong to a d i f f e r e n t Band, they are not Joeyaska's descendants nor Lower Band members. I knew that my father was a strong man, he was p h y s i c a l l y strong, ranch work demanded i t . I remember as a young g i r l hearing a b i g commotion near the barn. My father age 72 was alone on horseback hooting, y e l l i n g and cursing h i s herd of cows which got outside of the fence. Single handedly with hi s voice and a whip he managed to get the 50 or so head back i n to the c o r r a l and avoided unnecessary damage. He was also strong i n hi s convictions about his land. He may have been f r u s t r a t e d with the band p o l i t i c s , however, he never wavered about his ownership. When I say that Albert S t e r l i n g ' s c h i l d r e n have the r i g h t to occupy and u t i l i z e the land known as Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2, i t i s a r i g h t to occupy without fear of encroachment by squatters and by the Lower Nicola Band c h i e f . It i s the r i g h t to occupy the land without further harrassment by Lower Nicola Band development. In 1878 when 96 Joeyaska was faced with h i s neighbor William Charters claiming a l l h i s water ri g h t s , he made his case known to the lands commissioner. His former displacement, the i n j u s t i c e , h i s new occupancy at Godey Creek, h i s ditches and c u l t i v a t i o n had a l l been documented: he was given favor and granted r i g h t s to the 320 acres he pre-empted. We need a modern day G i l b e r t Malcolm Sproat to take note of the evidence of the St e r l i n g s ' claim to Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 and grant my mother freedom from the harassment and grant us freedom from the f a l s e claims of the Lower Nicola Band. When I go home to the land at Joeyaska I go to the corners of each d i r e c t i o n , north, south, east and west of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 to pray f o r the safety of the land. Each family member does t h i s as well. It i s something my father d i d and we carry on t h i s important step. I believe that Joeyaska d i d as well. On Labor Day weekend I stood at the northern most part of Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 and I must have disturbed a coyote. The coyote t r o t t e d o f f then turned and watched me for the duration of my short time there. At that time I recognized my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to do my best to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the S t e r l i n g family. I also became aware that the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 passed on to us from our great grandfather Joeyaska i s sp e c i a l and sacred. I saw my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n being a good steward, to make sure the environment and wi l d l i f e i s protected as well. This i s something that appears to have been overlooked i n the p o s s i b i l i t y of b u i l d i n g a casino 97 and shopping mall by the Lower Nicola Band. I have written, The Story of Joeyaska, a children's version of the story of my great grandfather. I f e e l that i t i s important to share his story for two reasons; 1. For F i r s t Nations c h i l d r e n to see how one Stuwix warrior, Joeyaska, overcame d i f f i c u l t obstacles i n h i s l i f e . 2. For non-First Nations c h i l d r e n to see that one man, Joeyaska, a warrior loved h i s land and cared for h i s family and became a good provider for his family. A story worth t e l l i n g i n the h i s t o r y of the Nicola Valley. The term warrior means; A man engaged i n or experienced i n warfare; one devoted to m i l i t a r y l i f e . (Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary 1989 p.1513) This d e s c r i p t i o n f i t s my father and his grandfather. Their legacy of safeguarding the land that b e f a l l s us today i s that we become the new warriors. Maori educator P i t a Sharpies challenged us to be warriors. Warriors of today protect the culture, the language and the land because they are worth protecting. Our world needs the teachings we have to o f f e r . (Voice of the Drum Conference 1998) Where do we go from here? In t a l k i n g with my mother, brothers and s i s t e r s , i t i s not possible to experience the freedom and enjoyment of our inheritance, the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 under present amalgamation with the Lower Nicola Band. One of the errors that needs corr e c t i n g i s representation by elected c o u n c i l . Right now two of my brothers and one nephew are elected on a council of eight members. Any time that business about Joeyaska Reserve 98 #2 i s brought up to council, my brothers and nephew are asked to leave the room because i t i s considered a ' c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t . ' What i t means i s that the S t e r l i n g family has no voice, no representation on the Lower Nicola Band. That i s not true democracy and i t needs to be r e c t i f i e d . I f e e l that the o r a l accounts combined with h i s t o r i c a l documentation about the l i f e of Joeyaska the warrior, strongly shows that h i s land was once a separate e n t i t y and we hope to separate to form our own band once again. The Vancouver Sun 1999 reported, The Supreme Court of Canada i n the 1997 Delgamuukw decision made i t c l e a r that F i r s t Nations hold t i t l e to land i n B.C. S p e c i f i c s need to be resolved through negotiation and i f necessary, l i t i g a t i o n . The S t e r l i n g family holds t i t l e to the land at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2 and we are considering the options open to us. Negotiation with the Lower Nicola Band i s the f i r s t option, l i t i g a t i o n i s the second. In 1878 Joeyaska made a strong stand and got h i s land. His ethics have taught me the benefits of persistence and determination. My father has taught me the benefits of making a stand. This process of re-connecting to land and to ancestors, to t h e i r ways and t r a d i t i o n s helped e s t a b l i s h who I am i n the family and i n the community. Their t r a i t s serve to strengthen my l i f e and help me to be a successful and happy Stuwix/Ntla'kapmux woman today. Their knowledge and strength w i l l help me and our family to take up the cause as Joeyaska d i d i n 1878 of securing the land to make i t a safe place to l i v e . This i s the story of Joeyaska. Through my research and 99 reconnections to family history, I have learned that i n h i s family clan and extended family, Joeyaska has close to one hundred descendants and many are a l i v e and e l i g i b l e to l i v e on the land a l l o t t e d him i n 1878. Joeyaska i s no longer a dist a n t ancestor. He has become 'en spopzuh' a term of endearment, which means 'my grandfather'. 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