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 has 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 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, chairwoman 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

Overhead lights have been installed at the Oliver skatepark so kids can enjoy the park longer during winter hours. (Argon photo)
Community lights up Oliver skatepark, calling it a ‘game changer’ for youth

Both the dog park and Small Wheels Skatepark have lighting now

Pathways
LETTER: Pathways chair says ‘wet houses’ can be part of solution but only with proper supports

Sherry Ure says we need to all come together and help our neighbours

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Most Read