Janice August celebrates at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society for National Aboriginal Day in 2018. (Carli Berry - Capital News)

Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society celebrates new mural for Indigenous youth

The mural was a gift from Elders as part of National Aboriginal Day

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society celebrates a new mural addition to the society’s courtyard in downtown Kelowna.

A ceremony to bless the new mural will be held Friday afternoon. The mural was a gift from Elders to pass along knowledge and cultural practices to Indigenous youth.

“This beautiful mural is a gift to Indigenous youth, to welcome them to the centre where they can learn about and express the Indigenous identity,” Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society board president Dinah Littlechief said.

“Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society plays an important role supporting personal and community growth through cultural programming.”

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The mural was created by Syilx artist Sheldon Louis with help from youth and staff from the society. Louis will be joined in Kelowna on Friday afternoon by guests including MLA Norm Letnick, MLA Ben Stewart, Mayor Colin Basran and more as they celebrate the blessing of the mural as part of a celebration for National Aboriginal Day.

The mural features the late Emory Robins who was part of the host drum group since the society’s first National Aboriginal Day celebration. The mural’s image of Elders drumming highlights the gift of a strengthened Indigenous community that the Elders pass down to local youth.

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“This is how we help young people develop strength and resiliency,” said Edna Terbaskey, society executive director.

“The mural exemplifies the importance of Elders sharing traditional wisdom and values with young people.”

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