The En’Owkin Centre is an Indigenous cultural, educational and creative arts institution located in Syilx territory on the Penticton Indian Reserve just off Green Mountain Road. The Centre is comprised of highly qualified educators who are also professional artists and writers, facilitators and Indigenous advocates. The En’Owkin Centre provides a culturally sensitive learning environment in a nurturing and challenging atmosphere offering its students the opportunity to receive their university/college transfer diplomas along with a wide range of certificate programs.
The En’Owkin Centre is a dynamic institution, which puts forth into practice the principles of self-determination and the validation of cultural aspirations and identity. An Indigenous cultural, educational, ecological and creative arts organization, the En’Owkin Centre is taking a lead role in the development and implementation of Indigenous knowledge systems, both at the community and international levels.
The word En’Owkin is an Okanagan conceptual metaphor, which describes a process of clarification, conflict resolution and group commitment. We focus on coming to the best solutions possible, through respectful dialogue literally through consensus.
The National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training Program (NAPAT) brings together professional Indigenous artists from across Canada to work as mentors to help emerging artists rediscover their heritage and find their creative voice helping a new generation of indigenous artists find their path to a professional career in the arts. This authentic Indigenous Exhibition will provide a unique look inside this unique creative hub where traditional art forms are rediscovered, reexamined and reinterpreted through each of the exhibiting artists individual art practice.
We would like to invite you to come and discover for yourself the incredible wealth of talent housed at the En’Owkin Centre and see how these emerging and professional artists interpret traditional forms of authentic art in today’s contemporary context. This exhibition highlights this rich history and the importance of the En’Owkin cultural experience bringing together a wide range of age groups from all walks of life and diverse Aboriginal communities from across Canada. This exciting cultural exchange facilitates sharing of learning experiences between students and instructors through living in a changing cultural community.
“As Art and Performance instructors at En’Owkin we get to experience working with all age groups of adults, from all walks of life, from many different Aboriginal communities across Canada. We get to have creative cultural exchanges with excited and energetic individuals that help share and give to one another; a flow of learning experiences between students and instructors that is a living changing cultural community.”
This exhibition is the first of a planed series of exhibitions, which will explore the incredible culture and diversity embodied by the En’Owkin and its inspired faculty. Special thanks is due to the participating artists and their mentors; Mariel Belanger; Tracey Bonneau; Phyllis Isaac and Dr. Michelle Jack. Without whose trust, belief and support this event would not have been possible. Thanks also to A. Michael Bezener Richard Armstrong and Dr. Jeannette Armstrong for their support over the last number of years to help build this bridge between our communities.