Westbank First Nation and the City of Kelowna came together today to unveil a monument of the historic syilx Chief Charlie swkn̓cut.
The monument was initially commissioned by Westbank First Nation in 2012 and was unveiled after years of work today.
Crystal Przybille, the artist who created the monument, also created the monument of Father Pandosy.
Swkn̓cut’s chieftainship correlates with the arrival of Father Pandosy, who came to the Okanagan in poor health, fleeing American mercenaries, and was nursed back to health by the syilx people.
Chief Roxanne Lindley spoke to the resiliency of syilx people and was proud to share the pre-contact history of the Okanagan with everyone in attendance.
“Syilx people were a self-sufficient and self-governing people prior to contact with settlers,” Lindley said. “We are very proud of our history and resiliency as syilx people and are happy to share this unveiling with everyone here today on National Indigenous Peoples Day.”
Mayor Colin Basran shared the same sentiment in the importance of the history of the Okanagan and the relationship between the two governments.
“We are proud to see this beautiful monument now overlooking the lake, which serves as a symbol of connection as we work to understand and preserve our shared history,” Basran said.