A new sign that speaks to the Penticton Indian Band’s roots in the Okanagan was unveiled Wednesday afternoon at Manitou Park in Naramata.
The idea of assigning an Indigenous name to the park arose through an ongoing collaboration between the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen and PIB.
When suggestions for the name “Eagle’s House” came from the Naramata’s truth and reconciliation group, the RDOS and PIB knew that the naming project would be much bigger than just a park, and decided the title would apply to the whole community.
The new sign, which reads “House of Bald Eagle” in Syilx, was chosen through popular vote after the RDOS and PIB presented a list of names to the community. The accuracy of the name was corrected by the PIB.
“It’s been their traditional name of the whole region,” explained Karla Kozakevich, the RDOS director for Naramata.
“We’re hoping to move forward out of this with some other projects and include the Naramata truth and reconciliation group and PIB and do some additional naming, which will be an education piece.”
The “House of Bald Eagle” sign will be erected at the entrance to Naramata Village.
PIB Chief had Eneas was present for the unveiling alongside other members of the band and the entire Outma Sqilx’W Cultural School.
“As you know, our people have lived here for such a long time. Some data can point out that … 4,700 years ago, our people lived here in this area,” said Eneas.
“The knowledge that can be shared and transferred through the differences we might have will contribute to a brighter future.”
Justin Shuttleworth, the parks and facilities co-ordinator for the RDOS, spoke highly of the working relationship with the PIB in collaborating on the project and what the unveiling represented for the Okanagan.
“It’s a fantastic idea,” he said. “I think there’s a good link to some of our parks and national assets that we can keep the language going through.”