Penticton Indian Band member and artist Clint George/wàpupxn has created a new sculpture in citxws paqəlqyn, the nsyilxcən placename for Naramata in Manitou Park.
In 2018, a new sign acclaiming the traditional place name of Naramata, citxws paqəlqyn which translates as House of Bald Eagle, was unveiled and on Wednesday, Sept. 29, George’s new sculpture was raised at Manitou Park depicting an eagle alighting on a tree-top nest, further celebrating and bringing awareness to this important place and the syilx (Okanagan) people.
“I have named this sculpture “citxw” which means “house” in our language. A house is a place where friends and family spend time together in a safe and meaningful way. This sculpture represents the citxws paqəlqyn placename but also acts as a form of welcome to all who visit,” said artist Clint George/wàpupxn.
“The eagle is facing the water because in days past and today as well, different families arrive by the water to visit, they are welcomed by our relative paqəlqyn (eagle). citxw tells a story of our people; it speaks to the importance of citxws paqəlqyn and sən’klip (coyote) and ntityix (Salmon Chief) which are each important figures in syilx Nation laws and protocols.”
PIB Chief Greg Gabriel said working in colloboration with the RDOS to bring awareness of the syilx Nation’s placenames and history as caretakers of this land is important to recognize.
“The people of snpink’tn, as part of the syilx Nation, have taken care of and governed the lands, waters, plants and animals at citxws paqəlqyn since time immemorial. It is important to recognize and celebrate our traditional placenames which have persisted for many thousands of years,” said PIB Chief Greg Gabriel. “We are pleased to work with the RDOS to bring awareness to important places like citxws paqəlqyn and look forward to future collaborations.”
“The House of Bald Eagle sculpture will be an important beacon and serve as a powerful reminder of Indigenous culture and heritage in the Okanagan Nation,” says RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich.
The sculpture is being commissioned as part of the Manitou Park upgrades project currently underway. Funding partners for the art installation included FortisBC and Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Several local contractors are also providing in-kind services.
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