The Canoe sculpture, designed by Indigenous artists Clint George and Les Louis, is located at the midpoint of the Pelmewash Parkway route in Lake Country. (Contributed)

The Canoe sculpture, designed by Indigenous artists Clint George and Les Louis, is located at the midpoint of the Pelmewash Parkway route in Lake Country. (Contributed)

New Lake Country sculptures tell the stories of Syilx, Okanagan peoples

Three sculptures designed by local Indigenous artists now line the Pelmewash Parkway

A trio of sculptures have been erected along the Pelmewash Parkway in Lake Country, each representing a different slice of the history of Indigenous peoples in the region.

The Lake Country Public Art Advisory Commission worked with two professional Indigenous Okanagan artists who created the new sculptures. Clint George, Syilx Artist from the Penticton Indian Band, and Les Louis, Syilx Artist from the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, combined their wood- and metal-working skills to design and create the towering structures.

The artists explained explained the concepts and significance of these sculptures, saying the Syilx people “have four food chiefs that have been a part of Syilx heritage since before our people came to be.”

“The Four Food Chiefs sculpture carries infinite meaning and reminds us to seek information about why preservation of our valleys, mountains, waters, and sky are so important.”

READ MORE: Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

They also explained the meaning of the other two sculptures: “The Feather sculpture with the medicine wheel, sun/star blanket, and depictions of Okanagan pictographs integrates the importance of working in harmony with the settlers of our land. The Canoe sculpture reminds us of the importance of transportation, working together, and the story of traditional transportation networks of the Syilx people.”

The Four Food Chiefs sculpture can be found at the south end of Pelmewash Parkway; the Canoe sculpture is located at the mid-point of this route; and at the north end is the Feather sculpture.

“We are grateful to the artists who created these sculptures as reminders about how this area along Wood Lake was regularly used for many years by the Syilx people,” said Sharon McCoubrey, chairperson of the Public Art Advisory Commission. “We hope everyone will enjoy the beauty of these sculptures and will think of their meaning and significance.”

The wood poles carrying the Canoe are carved with pictographs from the Okanagan territory, while the burnished metal of the Four Food Chiefs reflects the changing light of the sun. The central open form of the Feather sculpture provides a visual portal towards picturesque background vistas.

“As the Okanagan Valley becomes more diverse and populated, it is important to remember the Syilx people, the original inhabitants of our land,” the artists said. “We are leaving artifacts for our future generations to be proud of and appreciate the fact we as Syilx people are being recognized in our traditional territory and are able to leave a footprint for all to see.”

Funding for the public art project was provided by the Lake Country Public Art Advisory Commission and Lake Country ArtWalk.

READ MORE: Artsolutely makes shopping local easy in Vernon


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ArtIndigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Feather sculpture, designed by Indigenous artists Clint George and Les Louis, is located at the north end of Pelmewash Parkway in Lake Country. (Contributed)

The Feather sculpture, designed by Indigenous artists Clint George and Les Louis, is located at the north end of Pelmewash Parkway in Lake Country. (Contributed)

The Four Food Chiefs sculpture, designed by Indigenous artists Clint George and Les Louis, can be found at the south end of Pelmewash Parkway. (Contributed)

The Four Food Chiefs sculpture, designed by Indigenous artists Clint George and Les Louis, can be found at the south end of Pelmewash Parkway. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

The restart of the program means seniors can receive affordable meals delivered five days a week. Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post.
Princeton Meals on Wheels one year trial will cost $92k

Program restarts, and volunteer drivers are needed

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Lake Country singer Payton Bischoff is featured in episode four of the Focus Online Series, March 4-7. (Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre photo)
WATCH: Okanagan talents shine under online spotlight

12-year-old from Lake Country, Enderby singer-songwriter-guitarist and Kelowna duo in Focus

B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Third-year UBCO nursing student Thomas Pool works alongside community volunteer and registered nurse Sean Garden, as they check drug samples at Living Positive Resource Centre in downtown Kelowna (UBCO)
UBCO drug checking service now offered across Okanagan

The program is in partnership with Interior Health

Shuswap Search and Rescue volunteers were on Owlhead to retrieve a couple who called for help after one of their sleds became stuck on Tuesday, March 2, 2020. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook photo)
Shuswap Search and Rescue retrieve couple from Owlhead

Call for help made after sled became stuck

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Anti-pipeline protests continue in Greater Vancouver, with the latest happening Thursday, March 4 at a Trans Mountain construction site in Burnaby. (Facebook/Laurel Dykstra)
A dozen faith-based protestors blockade Burnaby Trans Mountain site in prayer

The group arrived early Thursday, planning to ‘block any further work’

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

The man currently being sought by Oliver RCMP in connection to an assault and robbery at the BC Cannabis Store in Oliver. If you know the identity of the man, the RCMP would like to know. (RCMP)
South Okanagan police looking for man accused in robbery and assault at pot shop

The man allegedly assaulted an employee at the BC Cannabis Store

Most Read