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London chapter highlights the ‘Rethink 150’ art & storytelling initiative

The ‘Rethink 150’ billboard is situated about 100 kilometres south of Kelowna. The traditional territory of the Sylix includes the Okanagan Valley region.

The Council of Canadians London chapter is promoting awareness of the ‘Rethink 150: Indigenous Truth’ art and storytelling initiative.

The chapter posted this CBC article on ‘Rethink 150′ on Facebook and comments, “When it comes to First Nations peoples, we have to take responsibility for our government’s and our ancestors’ committing genocide, and we have to fight against denial, self centred ignorance, and repression by every means we have at our disposal.”

The CBC article notes, “Rethink 150 is presenting Canadian history through the eyes of the First Nations people.”

It adds, “Organizer and presenter Dixon Terbasket has helped create these events as an opportunity to promote understanding of the country’s Indigenous history through art and storytelling. The topics that can be most difficult to approach, like residential schools and reconciliation, are the ones that Terbasket says we need to dive into from both the First Nations and non-Native perspectives to make progress.”

1- Public discussion – May 19

“As part of the event series, they [held a discussion] at the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts.”

2- Billboard unveiling – May 20

“The billboard art is the result of a series of discussions initiated by members of the Syilx/Okanagan community with people from non-Indigenous backgrounds. The artwork expresses the colonial oppression of Indigenous people over the last 150+ years. It depicts this systemic oppression through images that symbolize the theft of land, residential schools, industry, and environmental destruction. But the billboard also represents the ongoing vitality of the Syilx people.”

3- Art exhibition – June 26 – July 3

“The objective of this exhibition is to provide members of the Okanagan community – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – with an opportunity to reflect critically on what Canada 150 means to them: to tell stories of the past, present, and future of the Okanagan; to reflect on relations to the land and people of this place; to engage with the ongoing effects of settler colonialism that are effaced by celebratory accounts of Canada 150; and to present the presence and strength of Syilx peoples.”

To learn more about the ‘Rethink 15O: Indigenous Truth’ initiative, please see their Facebook page here.

Further reading
Council of Canadians stands in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples (May 15, 2017)