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Ribbon cut at new Indigenous garden at Okanagan College

Heather Schneider, Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan, Okanagan College; Grouse Barnes, Westbank First Nation Elder; Connie Denesiuk, Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors; Chris Derickson, Westbank First Nation Councillor and Vice Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors, Anthony Isaac, Aborignal Services Coordinator for Okanagan College and Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College are joined by children from nearby Little Scholars daycare in cutting the ribbon to officially open the garden.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
June 28, 2017 - 10:46 AM

On Tuesday, June 27 more than a hundred people attended the grand opening of a new Indigenous garden located at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Launched in partnership with Westbank First Nation, the City of Kelowna and other community partners, this new greenspace is now open to the public and boasts nearly 50 varieties of plants that are of cultural and historical significance to the Indigenous people of the region.

The ceremony began with a blessing by Westbank First Nation Elder Grouse Barnes. Westbank First Nation Councillor Chris Derickson spoke on behalf of WFN and as Vice Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, Regional Dean Heather Schneider, and Aboriginal Services Coordinator Anthony Isaac also spoke about how the garden came to fruition. The event concluded with a ribbon cutting that included WFN and College officials and youth from Little Scholars Daycare.

“This garden is a living, breathing example of the value Okanagan College places on Indigenous knowledge and culture,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Thank you to everyone who helped us grow this unique space on our campus for everyone to enjoy.”

Children from Little Scholars daycare joined by OC President Jim Hamilton, WFN Elder Grouse Barnes and WFN Councillor and Okanagan College Board of Governors Vice Chair Chris Derickson in planting the final six plants in the garden.
Children from Little Scholars daycare joined by OC President Jim Hamilton, WFN Elder Grouse Barnes and WFN Councillor and Okanagan College Board of Governors Vice Chair Chris Derickson in planting the final six plants in the garden.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

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