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Autonomous Sinixt to reveal new mural, host rewilding event

June 21 gathering will take place at the former Retallack townsite
The aim of the Sinixt Rewilding Piq ki ʔ láwna ʔ campaign is to raise public awareness about the importance of protecting wild habitat. Photo: Julius Strauss

Submitted by the Autonomous Sinixt

On June 21, the Autonomous Sinixt invite people to gather in Piq kiʔláwnaʔ (between Kaslo and New Denver on highway 31A) to witness the public reveal of a unique art work. The White Grizzly mural will be painted on an unusual surface, that is the old mining buildings in the former Retallack townsite. The two-storey artwork by Nelson artist Coleman Webb is to honour and support the Sinixt Rewilding Piq kiʔláwnaʔ campaign.

In addition to the mural, educational signage illustrating the interconnectedness of the old-growth forest, from the tree canopy to the underground mycelium, will also be unveiled.

“Portrayed are threatened and endangered species who depend on the health of the entire ecosystem to thrive,” said project co-ordinator Alexandra Pronovost. “Our work here is to protect the integrity of the area not just for the white grizzly, but for all species.”

This family friendly event will be a celebration of the accomplishments of the project thus far, and an honoring of the forest and its living organisms. It will also be an opportunity for people concerned about the Kaslo-New Denver corridor to gather, meet each other and to learn how to get involved.

This initiative is part of the Rewilding Piq kiʔláwnaʔ campaign, a world-making initiative by the Autonomous Sinixt in their unceded, traditional təmxʷúlaʔxʷ (homeland), meant to raise public awareness about the importance of protecting this habitat. The 500 square kilometres of Piq kiʔláwnaʔ sits in the heart of the globally unique and mostly intact biodiversity-rich inland temperate rainforest, known as excellent all-season grizzly bear habitat. Culturally important, this area is also the home of the white grizzly (Piq kiʔláwnaʔ) who is held sacred by the Sinixt.

In attendance will be Autonomous Sinixt Matriarch Marilyn James, to offer an opening prayer as well as the artist Coleman Webb and two local young aspiring artists, Tatyanna Backus-Ostrikoff and Sam Anderson, who worked with him. People are encouraged to come in animal costumes, and there will be an animal mask painting table set-up for the kids.

The event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and refreshments will be provided.