Noll Derriksan, the former chief of the Westbank First Nation (WFN), has passed away at the age of 79.
WFN recently confirmed his passing.
According to the Penticton Art Gallery, Derriksan was born in Kelowna in 1940 and was one of the first First Nations to enroll in the Westbank Public School.
Growing up, Derricksan became a talented artist and created countless artwork pieces of frogs, porcupines and other species native to the Okanagan.
During the 1970’s and 80’s, Derricksan worked as executive president for the National Indian Arts and Crafts Corporation in Ottawa.
As an artist, he also worked tirelessly to help organize an annual Native arts and crafts exhibit in Vancouver.
Later on, Derriksan served as the chief of the Westbank First Nation and eventually was given the honorary title of Grand Chief.
He continued painting at his personal art studio in Westbank in his later years.