Mar 8, 2013 / 3:24 pm
Women's voices filled Kelowna's downtown Heritage Museum during the lunch hour Friday as part of
As part of Friday's International Women's Day the museum hosted a guided tour of 'The Land Is Our Culture,' an exhibit of art works created by First Nation artists Barb Marchand and Janine Lott.
Guest curator Gayle Liman who hosted the tour says Westbank First Nation women have played a major role in everything from governance to stories to maintaining historical traditions.
She says that significance comes through in the exhibit.
"When Westbank First Nation made the decision to separate from Vernon (1963) - something imposed on them by Indian Affairs - it was women who led the way," says Liman.
"It was women who went (to Chief Norman Lindley) and said enough, we need to be our own band like before white people came and told us what to do. They have never looked back since."
Liman says what makes the exhibit unique is that it is a direct voice of the people and not a third party interpretation.
"The whole gist is the land is our culture - they don't mean just for themselves - they mean for all of us. We share the land, we share the water and we need to be considerate if we are going to go on."
"Women are usually at the forefront of that, the same as peace. We've had 10,000 years of war and mayhem and, I'm not blaming that all on men, but I think women's voices are becoming stronger now."
One of those who took in the exhibit and tour Friday was Maria LaBoucan, an aboriginal woman of Metis descent who says she wanted to share in the exhibit, specifically on International Women's Day.
"I think this exhibit is indigenous to this area and it's why we are who we are today because of the past and the present," says LaBoucan.
"For me it (International Women's Day) connects women from all over the world, all over Mother Earth."
The exhibit will be on display at the Kelowna Heritage Museum until April 6.
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