Okanagan Society for the Revival of Indian Arts and Crafts

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Okanagan Society for the Revival of Indian Arts and Crafts

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The Okanagan Society for the Revival of Indian Arts and Crafts (OSRIAC) was formed in 1941 to ‘stimulate and record authentic native arts, legends, songs, dances, and dramatic art amongst the Okanagan Indians, compile a schedule and pictorial record of authentic pictographs and petroglyphs, encourage ethnological studies among young Indians, arrange exhibits of Indian arts, crafts, and drama, guide the efforts of Indians so that their products have real artistic and market value, keep in touch with similar organizations in Canada and the United States of America, facilitate advanced studies in cases of pupils showing outstanding ability where such study should have to take place outside of the reserve, and publish leaflets, books, and articles in harmony with the work of the society’. The society was formed primarily to supplement work being done by Alice Ravenhill of the Victoria Society for the Furtherance of BC Indian Arts and Crafts and to assist Anthony Walsh in promoting the interests of his pupils at the Inkameep Indian Day School on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve. Eventually one of the pupils, Sis-hu-ulk, had his artwork displayed at exhibitions in London, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Dublin, and across Canada. Other students gave an open-air dramatic performance on the occasion of the opening of Thunderbird Park in Victoria, as well as plays, songs, and dance performances in the Okanagan. Anthony Walsh resigned in 1942 and the society was instrumental, after a period of two years, in urging the appointment of another teacher with improved living quarters. Unfortunately, no effort was made to re-establish the creative work that had been initiated by Mr. Walsh. From that point on, the society broadened its activities by writing a brief entitled ‘Native Canadians – A Plan for the Rehabilitation of Indians’, submitting it to the BC premier in 1944. The following publicity resulted in briefs being submitted by OSRIAC in 1946 to the federal Joint Committee appointed to examine and consider the Indian Act.


Osoyoos, British Columbia

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Osoyoos Museum Society

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Created December 9, 2009




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