The Past, Present and Future of the Okanagan Waterscape

September 18, 2021 to March 7, 2022


Take a deep dive into the human relationship with water.

September 18, 2021 to March 7, 2022
Okanagan Heritage Museum

This exhibit will inform, intrigue and spark conversation.

Waterways explores the nature of our relationship with water – from the impact of development and climate change on the environment to the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in ensuring all living things have clean water, now and in the future In keeping with syilx environmental ethics, the Okanagan Waterways Project reminds us that we all have a responsibility to work towards building and upholding the sustainability of water for healthy ecosystems and for future generations.
The exhibition features immersive media, which includes a video installation featuring the insights of Elders and Knowledge Keepers of the syilx Okanagan community, scientists and conservationists. There is also a highly realistic virtual world where visitors can explore what the Okanagan waterways were like before development via a touch-screen interface.

Waterways also showcases examples of Indigenous-led restoration where diverse partners continue to collaborate to enhance the sustainability of water. The exhibition mobilizes the knowledge emerging from Waterways – the Past, Present and Future of the Okanagan Waterscape, a four-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded project led by Dr. Aleksandra Dulic, Principal Investigator, and Coinvestigators Drs Jeanette Armstrong, John Wagner, Lael Parrott and Miles Thorogood from the University of British Columbia with other essential partners, including the En’owkin Centre whose input was vital in ensuring a rich cross-cultural Indigenous perspective on water.

Waterways is a collaborative undertaking between the University of British Columbia Okanagan, Elders and Knowledge Keepers of the syilx Okanagan community, Kelowna Museums Society, Okanagan Basin Water Board, and the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program.


We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of the individuals and organizations that made this project possible.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of the individuals and organizations that made this project possible. In particular, the hard work, dedication and collaborative spirit of the project partners allowed the various pieces that comprise this complex project to be woven together. These include the University of British Columbia, Centre for Culture and Technology, Sonic Production Intelligence Research and Application Lab, En’owkin Centre and the Kelowna Museums Society.

Although many people from these organizations helped this project along in various capacities, the following individuals made up the core project team:

  • Aleksandra Dulic, artistic direction
  • Amanda Snyder, curation
  • A. Michael Bezener, content development
  • Carla Mather, 3D project manager
  • Dalmar Hussein, 3D interface design
  • Emerald Holt, content development
  • Jacen Dennis, video editing
  • Jeannette Armstrong, Indigenous leadership and knowledge
  • John Wagner, content development
  • Jordan Pike, 3D visualization and production
  • Lael Parrott, content development
  • Linda Digby, project proponent
  • Maria Correia, project production
  • Marlowe Sam, Indigenous knowledge and research
  • Miles Thorogood, sound composition, systems design and development
  • Rylan Broadbent, module design and fabrication
  • Sarah Alexis, Indigenous content development
  • Scott Boswell, content development
  • Sepideh Saffari, exhibition design & module design

The team would also like to recognize the support and contributions of Ahlam Bavi, Alex Lake, Alison Trim, Echo Sulin, Felicia Watterodt, Julian Pena, KayKaitkw Harron Hall, Madeline Donald, Kaede Tara Dunn, Meg Yamamoto, River Dunn, Trevor Richard and Tyrel Narciso. These individuals helped tremendously to articulate, design, develop and construct this exhibition.

This exhibition draws deeply from the knowledge of community members, many of whom contributed to the exhibition in different ways, including members of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington State who were interviewed by Dr. Marlowe Sam. Graduate students Maria Correia and Sarah Alexis with Professor Dulic’s supervision conducted and analyzed all other interviews. The following individuals contributed to the exhibition, by sharing one or a combination of their knowledge, voices, materials, skills, and expertise:

  • A. Michael Bezener
  • Anna Warwick Sears
  • Chad Eneas
  • Chris Bull
  • Christine Bishop
  • Dawn Machin
  • Howie Wright
  • Jeannette Armstrong
  • John Wagner
  • Karilyn Alex
  • The late Kim Hyatt
  • Marlowe Sam
  • Rose Caldwell
  • Richard Armstrong
  • Ryan Benson
  • Sarah Alexis
  • Scott Boswell
  • Tara White
  • Tracey Bonneau

Colville Confederated Tribes

  • Albert Andrews Redstar
  • Barb Freelander
  • The late Chaz Williams
  • Clem Nichols
  • Ernie Brooks
  • The late George Abrahamson
  • Kathy Womer
  • Lucille Pakootas
  • Patty Porter
  • Shelly Phillips
  • Stretch Cleveland

Columbia River Basin

  • Morna McEachern
  • Eric Finke
  • Mary Tuti Baker (Kanaka ‘oiwi)
  • Stan de Mello
  • Samuel Johnson
  • Karen Katigbak
  • Iris Lippert
  • Michael Mugambe
  • Tyler Nodine
  • Stan Thayne

The following organizations also generously contributed content to this project:

  • Institute for Community Engaged Research
  • Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Project
  • Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience and Ecosystem Services
  • Okanagan Nation Alliance
  • Falcon WaterJet Cutting Ltd.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge our funders that made this project possible: SSHRC, UBC, City of Kelowna, BC Arts Council, Innovation.ca and Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Okanagan Heritage Museum


Monday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm

Special Hours

Monday, May 20 11:00am – 4:00pm



470 Queensway Avenue
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 6S7

(250) 763-2417

Google maps link


Admission is by donation.

Suggested donation $10 per person/$25 per family

Additional Programs & Services

Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame

The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the athletes, coaches, and builders whose accomplishments have made them a part of history in the Central Okanagan.

Kelowna Public Archives

The Kelowna Public Archives, located at the Okanagan Heritage Museum, is a historical resource centre where public records and historical documents are kept and preserved for informational and research use.

Ursula Surtees Regional Conservation Laboratory

A state-of-the-art Conservation Laboratory offering a variety of conservation services to the public, such as repairs, cleaning and polishing, mounting and protective enclosures.

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