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Crystal encrusted teepee unveiled at Sparkling Hill Resort

Okanagan Indian Band Chief, Bryon Louis, Elder Pauline Gregoire and Papachala Moose Hall cutting the ribbon at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa.
Okanagan Indian Band Chief, Bryon Louis, Elder Pauline Gregoire and Papachala Moose Hall cutting the ribbon at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa. Sydney Morton / Global News

Stories, normally only told around a fire amongst friends and family, have now been immortalized at the entrance of the Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa.

“Mr. Swarovski was so pleased with how this venture (the resort) has gone, so many people coming from all over the world and enjoying this magnificent setting,” said Stephen Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winery founder, speaking on behalf of Gernot Langes-Swarovski, who could not attend the unveiling due to illness.

The teepee, adorned with 16 paintings that tell the stories that honour the history of the Okanagan Indian Band.

“The artwork I have chosen is all about what I call coyotes land and the theme is all about our people we have had history on this land,” said Papachala Moose Hall.

“We always say, ‘since time immemorial,’ and the stories that go along with it are the accounts of our history.”

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His oil paintings were selected then cast in crystal on the teepee that now stands tall and greets guests as they arrive at the resort. Together, the paintings tell a story.

“The story I have decided to tell is coyotes land, and the lessons we were told a long time ago,” said Hall.

“One day our little brother, people from another land, are going to come here and we need to all be together working together and learn how we are humans and meant to be together and do good and be kind to each other and respect the land.”

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The latest art installation is only one piece of the various artwork the Okanagan Peoples have donated to public spaces.

“It’s making reference to our culture,” said Byron Louis, Okanagan Indian Band Chief.

“We didn’t have the elaborate totem poles but, we did have is the pictograph.”

Even more of a spectacle is to see the teepee lit up underneath the stars.