The Land is Our Culture

Iʔ təmxʷulaʔxʷ iʔ txət̓ncutntət – The Land is Our Culture

The Kelowna Museums, in collaboration with Westbank First Nation, is proud to present Iʔ təmxʷulaʔxʷ iʔ txət̓ncutntət – The Land is Our Culture; an exhibition celebrating the syilxw/Okanagan people and their interminable and vital connection to the land. Indeed, as the title states, the land is their culture.

Featured in the exhibition are the provocative artworks of Barb Marchand and Janine Lott, sylixw artists who express their personal and ancestral connections to the land through cultural and contemporary media and techniques.

Both artists discourage stereotypes that exclude their place in the context of modern or post modern approaches to art making. As Aboriginal women, they believe in a merging of the past, present and future, defined by ancient oral teachings called chaptikʷəɬ, stories and dreams. Inherent knowledge that transcends time is a common principle associated with Aboriginal worldview. “It’s in our DNA,” is a phrase coined by WFN female Elder/teacher and fluent language speaker, Delphine Derickson, which epitomizes this concept.

This collaboration between the Kelowna Museums Society and Westbank First Nation is a first for the two organizations. “Westbank First Nation has had a long and positive relationship with the Kelowna Museums, and this exhibition is a reflection of that relationship,” says Gayle Liman, Heritage Officer and Curator for the Westbank First Nation. “The visual and written stories in this exhibition represent the authentic voice of the syilxw people, and the Kelowna Museums Society is to be commended for encouraging a collaboration in which that voice is predominant.  WFN is grateful to all the Museums staff for their hard work and encouragement.”

Complementing the body of work created by the artists are exhibits and accompanying descriptions of artefacts bridging their current work to ancestral roots. This marriage of ancient and contemporary blurs the common Euro Canadian perception of past and present, offering a more circular and unending worldview of ‘oneness.’

This exhibit has been a wonderful collaborative experience with the Westbank First Nation,” says Patti Kilback, Associate Director of Exhibitions & Public Programing with the Kelowna Museums Society. “Focusing on the land and strength of First Nation culture as interpreted through the extraordinary art and sculpture of sylixw artists Barb Marchand and Janine Lott, as well as through artefacts from both Kelowna Museums collections and Westbank First Nations collections, this exhibit reveals the depth and perspective to this beautiful land that we call the Okanagan.”

This exhibit will be open to the public until April 6th, 2013. The Kelowna Museums Society is located at 470 Queensway Avenue and is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is by donation. For more information call 250-763-2417 

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