Penticton Indian Band Sculpture Raising at citxʷs paqəlqyn
The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) have collaborated to raise a new sculpture in citxʷs paqəlqyn, the nsyilxcən placename for Naramata. In 2018 a new sign acclaiming the traditional place name of Naramata, citxʷs paqəlqyn which translates as House of Bald Eagle, was unveiled and today a dramatic new sculpture raised at Manitou Park depicting an Eagle alighting on a tree-top nest will further celebrate and bring awareness to this important place and the syilx (Okanagan) people.
Penticton Band member and artist Clint George/wàpupxn explains, “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. 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 sənk̓lip (coyote) and ntityix (Salmon Chief) which are each important figures in syilx Nation laws and protocols.”
“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,” stated 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. “This collaborative project celebrates the past, present and future of Indigenous peoples and their connection to the natural environment.”
The sculpture is being commissioned as part of the Manitou Park upgrades project currently underway. Funding partners for the art installation include FortisBC and Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Several local contractors are also providing in-kind services.