Artist unveils story poles at the Penticton campus

By Public Affairs | October 12, 2021

Renowned Indigenous artist Les Louis

Renowned Indigenous artist Les Louis joined Okanagan College on Oct. 7 to celebrate the recent addition of two story poles at the Penticton campus.

A small ceremony was hosted and attendees were welcomed by local elders Leon Louis and Grace Greyeyes, a recipient of the 2017 OCAA Distinguished Alumni Award. They were joined by council members of the Penticton Indian Band and members of the OC community and kicked off the celebration with a traditional smudging ceremony.

Louis is no stranger to Okanagan College, having graduated from Okanagan University College in 1995 with a Fine Arts diploma. He is a member of the Lower Similkameen Band of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and is the same artist responsible for creating the story poles that stand in the na’ʔk’ʷulamən garden at the Kelowna campus, which were unveiled in 2017.

Louis graciously shared details about the story poles which feature a variety of Indigenous pictographs representing a range of plant and animal species significant to the Indigenous people of the region. In addition to carving the story poles, Louis also painted pictographs in red paint along the walls surrounding the courtyard of the Sunoka building and signed his artwork with his pictographic signature, a red hand print. 

Pictures of the ceremony are available to view and the OC community are encouraged to stay tuned for a video, showcasing the day’s events and meaningful words that were shared.

View photos 

Tags: Penticton



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