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

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Weekly COVID-19 case-counts continue to drop in the Central Okanagan

The Central Okanagan recorded 110 cases Jan. 3–9, a huge drop from the 349 noted between Dec. 6 and 12

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

A rendering of BC Housing’s proposed 20-storey rental development at 1451 and 1469 Bertram Street in downtown Kelowna. (Contributed)
BC Housing hoping to build 20-storey rental housing tower in downtown Kelowna

The building would create ‘urgently needed’ new affordable rental housing units downtown

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Most Read