Osoyoos Indian Band, family searching for missing native headdress | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Osoyoos Indian Band, family searching for missing native headdress

The granddaughter of Francis Jim Baptiste is hoping to recover a lost headdress owned by her late grandfather, shown in photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Taylor Anne Baptiste
November 17, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A member of the Osoyoos Indian Band is hoping a social media post will aid her in her efforts to repatriate a valued cultural item owned by her grandfather.

Taylor Anne Baptiste says her grandfather, Francis Jim Baptiste, was an artist and created many works of art, including a collection of paintings that are on display at the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos.

He passed away in 1988 at the age of 66.

“In the process of cleaning my grandfather’s house out when he died, his headdress was somehow sold, and no one knows specifically where it went since,” Taylor says.

She recently posted a message on Facebook asking readers for help in finding and reclaiming the headdress.

Francis Jim Baptiste was a well known native artist with a collection of his work viewable at the Nk'mip Cultural Centre in Osoyoos.
Francis Jim Baptiste was a well known native artist with a collection of his work viewable at the Nk'mip Cultural Centre in Osoyoos.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Taylor Anne Baptiste

Taylor says she is trying to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and is studying art at Emily Carr University.

“I have a portrait of my grandfather in my studio, and look at it every day, wondering what happened to his headdress. I was talking to my family and thought, ‘we’ve seen crazier things happening on social media, why not put a notice out there and see if people know where it is,’” she says.

Francis Jim Baptiste had 12 children including six boys and six girls, in addition to 38 grandkids.

“It’s a part of our family history, and our culture. A lot of my grandfather’s art is preserved in a collection at the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre, and we’d like to see the headdress preserved along with the rest of his artwork to keep his story, culture and art work alive for generations to come,” Taylor says.

The headdress can be identified by arrow beading on the front.

Taylor says anyone who might know something about the headdress can email her at tbaps12@gmail.com, or call the Osoyoos Indian Band office at  250-498-3444.

Francis Jim Baptiste.
Francis Jim Baptiste.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Taylor Anne Baptiste

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to tips@infonews.ca and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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