LOCAL INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCES
Westbank First Nation is one of eight bands comprising the Okanagan Nation – nqilxʷcn / nsyilxcen speaking people whose territory runs into Washington State. They have lived in the Kelowna, kiʔlawnaʔ and Westbank, stqaʔtkʷəɬniwt area from time immemorial. A recent excavation near the new bridge uncovered artifacts that date back thousands of years, proving Westbank First Nation’s (WFN) existence and their title to the land.
nqilxʷcn / nsyilxcen – the Okanagan Language
The nqilxʷcn /nsyilxcen language is taught in many schools in the Okanagan, from the band run sensisyusten School to Mt. Boucherie Secondary School. Public Schools in the Central Okanagan also participate in the Aboriginal Education Program where they acknowledge that they are on the Traditional Territory of the Okanagan Nation – The syilx People and students participate in cultural days and traditions of the syilx People, along with additional services for students who are of Aboriginal ancestry.