Jeremiah Vergera and Darah Thurston, Shuswap Middle School students, do the ceremonial unveiling of the first trailhead post on June 1, 2021 near the Little Mountain fieldhouse in Salmon Arm, as part of the Secwépemc Landmarks Project. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Jeremiah Vergera and Darah Thurston, Shuswap Middle School students, do the ceremonial unveiling of the first trailhead post on June 1, 2021 near the Little Mountain fieldhouse in Salmon Arm, as part of the Secwépemc Landmarks Project. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap sculptures: New grant means Secwépemc Landmarks Project to continue

Project creates awareness of Secwépemc traditional territory through series of sculptures, signposts

More Secwépemc landmarks are coming to the traditional territory of the Secwépemc people.

On Nov. 18, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s (CSRD) board of directors unanimously supported entering into an agreement with the Shuswap Trail Alliance for the completion of phase two of the Secwépemc Landmarks Project.

According to a CSRD staff report, $170,000 was secured through the Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative, a part of the Government of British Columbia’s Economic Recovery Plan, for the installation of the landmarks.

Adams Lake Band Councillor Shelley Witzky has been leading the project with the support of the Secwepemc Lakes Elders Advisory Committee, which includes Elders from all four bands; she and Jacob (Sutra) Brett came up with the initial concept and Libby Chisholm has been project coordinator.

The project was designed to create awareness of Secwépemc traditional territory through a series of landmarks or sculptures at highly visited areas, as well as trailhead posts around the region. The landmarks portray Secwépemc location names, culture and stories. Viewing portals will be incorporated in their designs which will point to historical locations and physical landmarks.

Also as part of the project, a series of signposts designed by Secwépemc artists and instructors will be placed at trailhead locations in the Shuswap.

“These landmarks and trailhead signs will be created to increase awareness of the Secwépemc language, culture and stories, and act as a foundation on which to grow the Secwépemc Tourism Strategy,” reads the staff report.

Read more: Secwépemc Elders guide stories, bless sites for Shuswap Landmarks project

Read more: Indigenous history in Shuswap recognized with unveiling of first Trailhead post


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Columbia Shuswap Regional DistrictFirst Nations