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Splatsin is excited to announce the designs for the Secwépemc Landmark sculptures, which were guided by the Secwépemc Lakes Elders Advisory Committee through a series of surveys and seven meetings from October 2019 to February 2021. The Secwépemc Lakes Elders Advisory Committee is made up of invited Elders from Splatsín, Neskonlith, Adams Lake, and Little Shuswap. The project began with Elders comments to the Secwépemc Lakes Tourism project to have more visible Secwépemc presence and signage on the land so visitors are aware they are on Secwepemcúl̓ecw territory. This series of eight Secwépemc Landmark sculptures were designed, in the spirit of reconciliation, to create awareness of Secwépemc presence and connection to language, land, and Sek̓lép or Sk̓lep (Coyote) stories. The project does not show locations of Coyote Rocks, pictographs, or sacred areas on the land, but highlights place names and personal stories on eight interpretive storyboards located next to the man-made sculptures.
Surveys were put out in June 2020 and Fall 2020 to Elders from Adams Lake Band, Little Shuswap Lake Band, Splatsín, and Neskonlith for feedback on signage, sculptures, and the project logo. Some surveys had concerns about protecting the original Coyote Rock and pictograph and petroglyph locations. On February 19th, 2021 there was an Elders Advisory Committee meeting where concerns were addressed, and there was a strong recommendation from Elders for a pictograph and coyote rock protection strategy committee to protect these sites. The Secwépemc Landmarks Project sculptures, signage, and trailhead posts were also supported to be installed this summer.
100 existing trailhead posts in the Shuswap Lakes region will also be replaced with new trailhead posts carved by youth in School District 83 (including Chief Atahm School and Shihiya School), under the instruction of two Secwépemc carvers from Splatsín. These new posts will have designs of pictographs, animal prints, or designs created by students, and a balancing rock on top of the post.
The Project Team appreciates the input and guidance of the Secwépemc Lakes Elders Advisory Committee and the Knowledge Keepers who guided this project.