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Kelowna News

New Museum showcases WFN's living culture

A display at the new Sncewips Museum in West Kelowna.
Image Credit: Contributed

WEST KELOWNA – The Westbank First Nation’s extensive collection of heritage items has been unboxed and is now on public display in West Kelowna.

The new Sncewips (sen-ch-wee-ps) Heritage Museum is at Estates Square in West Kelowna and Curatorial researcher Jordan Coble says the display is as much an art gallery it is a museum.

“In our culture, art, history, science are intertwined,” he says. “We wanted to showcase not just history, not just art, but how artwork tells the history of how we came to be.”

Before moving the items to the new location, the collection was stored at a climate-controlled repository in Governors Landing.

“It was very small,” Coble says. “Our office meeting room and gallery were the same so we had to move tables around a lot, but our new space is one and a half times the size.”

The museum contains a permanent gallery as well as another area that will rotate exhibits of items from across the country.

“The permanent gallery is your basic museum setup,” Coble says. “The pieces are important to the relevancy of the history of the space, our people and our culture.”

Displays include archaeological artifacts, historical and contemporary art, archives, as well as tools, baskets and other First Nation items. 

“What we’re trying to do is eliminate the stigma of what museums do to First Nations people traditionally,” Coble says. “At places like the Royal B.C. Museum, they speak about First Nations people in the past, we’re showcasing our culture as alive today.”

The Sncewips Museum is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Image Credit: Contributed

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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