Indigenous Heritage Markers along Wood Lake and the Oyama isthmus
Three Okanagan designed Heritage Markers, prepared largely by Ruby Alexis of the Okanagan Indian Band, are featured along the Okanagan Rail Trail. As noted earlier, this project is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia | Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada grant program. Two of these panels are located at the Ribbleworth Creek waterfall and the third on the Oyama isthmus.
Panel one, Dance of the Kokanee features a woodcut by Barb Marchand, a depiction of shore-spawning salmon that she watched leaping in the moonlight on the shore of a local lake. Content of the panel includes discussion of shore spawners and the fishing method used by Okanagan Indians in this location.
Panel two, Wood Lake Fishers, features an historic photograph by Allis Miller of the fishing trio, Terese McDougall, Freddy Jones, and Olivier “Boss” McDougall at Wood Lake in the 1930s. Content concerns what species these huge fish might be (Kikinee, Sockeye, Coho, or Chinook), the consequences of damming at Okanagan Falls in 1950s and brief family history of the McDougalls of Duck Lake.
Panel three in the aboriginal series, Fantastic Fibres, features important products manufactured by Okanagan Indian people using tules and spatsin. These plant materials were used in making fishing and deer nets and well as tule mats used as covering of conical shelters during most seasons. These fibrous plants were critical to Indigenous life locally and as trade items.
Earlier blog posts about these heritage markers are available on this website: