The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), with support from the Wellness Committee, applied to INAC (originally Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada) and was awarded funding in 2012 for Truth & Reconciliation Commemorative (TRC) Project. This project was guided by the former TRC Council of Elders, who represented each member community of the Okanagan Nation. This council is now the Syilx Indian Residential School Committee (SIRSC), which operates within its Terms of Reference (ToR).
Over the last year SIRSC has been working to develop a collective Nation monument to recognize Syilx attendees of Indian Residential Schools. The objective is to bring communities together to acknowledge former students of the Indian Residential School and recognize our resilience, culture and spirituality. It will also provide a significant opportunity to educate and create awareness with the general public in regards to this often- unrecognized part of colonial history.
On September 27, 2017, construction began on the monument located on the Penticton Indian Band reserve just outside of the Okanagan Nation’s kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery. The site was chosen as a important, historical place marker where Syilx children were gathered and displaced to residential schools using cattle trucks and trains.
On the walls of the monument there will be five panels of information that serve as storyboards that speak to the historical experience while providing information and education for those who visit the monument. A sculpture/art piece will be created by an Okanagan/Syilx Artist and erected in the centre on the large circle.
Currently the forms are being forged for the overall structure at the chosen site. The construction component will be completed by the first week in November and then landscaping will commence and the art piece will be installed the middle of November.
An unveiling ceremony will take place late November 2017, with a final date to be confirmed. We will be providing more information about the unveiling event at a later date.
Construction taking place in preparation for the concrete pour of the walls.
For more information contact:
Jennifer Houde, Wellness Manager / T: 1250-707-0095 ext. 128