The Syilx of the Okanagan Nation, live in eight communities in the interior of British Columbia and Washington. Over 400 band members live and work on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve which stretches from Oliver to Osoyoos.
The Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) acknowledges the ancestors and elders who have carried on our traditions and kept our language, history and culture alive so that we can share it with our guests and visitors.
Okanagan First Nations once travelled widely to fishing, gathering and hunting areas. Each year, the first harvests of roots, berries, fish and game were celebrated by ceremonies honouring the food chiefs who provided for the people. During the winter, people returned to permanent winter villages. The names of many of the settlements in the Okanagan Valley–Osoyoos, Keremeos, Penticton and Kelowna–come from aboriginal words for these settled areas and attest to the long history of the Syilx people on this land.
“OIB culture is not just our traditional culture. We are Business People, we have always been business people.” Says Chief Clarence Louie, “Archeological evidence proves that we traded with tribes from thousands of miles away. Today we’re probably the only band in Canada that has the number of businesses and joint ventures that we have on a per capita basis.”
Explore indoor and outdoor cultural and nature exhibits. Discover the desert ecology and wildlife in “Critter Corner” and “Living Land” displays. Hear the legends of Sen’klip (Coyote) in two multi-sensory theatres.