Artist: Smoker Marchand
Location: Snyatan Shopping Centre, Westbank First Nation
"The bear was strong medicine because he was the strongest and most powerful of the animal people and known for his courage and protectiveness. There is nothing more dangerous than a bear protecting its family, which I believe is a symbol of First Nation efforts to bring life and a healthy environment to our community."
- Smoker Marchand
Learn more about local tourism and activities at the Visit Westside website.
To learn more about Westbank First Nation and syilx culture, stop by the Sncewips Heritage Museum.
Located in south central British Columbia, Canada, the Okanagan Valley is home to Westbank First Nation, one of eight First Nation communities that comprise the Okanagan Nation.
The Okanagan (syilx) traditional territories extend from the south central interior of British Columbia to north central Washington State. The syilx are a division of the Interior Salish and speak the nsyilxcen language. They have inhabited the valley for thousands of years.
Throughout the Okanagan, steps are being taken to teach nsyilxcən to our youth. Nsyilxcən is now recognized as an official language and is taught throughout School District #23, as well as at Sensisyusten House of Learning, which is an elementary school in Westbank First Nation.
The Westbank First Nation Public Art Committee (PAC) established the WFN Public Art Program in September 2014. The Program is a collaborative, collective, creative process between WFN, practicing artists, and community members. Public art creatively addresses the needs and aspirations of the WFN community while also acknowledging WFN and syilx/Okanagan heritage.
The PAC promotes syilx culture through the arts; provides advice and supports activities that advance public art; and administers a selection process for commissioning and/or purchasing public art.
Promote syilx culture through the encouragement of local artists and the display of art throughout the community, both on and off reserve.
Visit our Public Art page to learn more about the program and other public art in our community.
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