Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society (En'owkin Centre)
Our Impact Why We Exist
The En'owkin Centre is a dynamic Cultural, Educational, Ecological and Creative Arts institution, which puts into practice the principles of self-determination and the validation of cultural aspirations and identity. The En'owkin Centre provides a culturally sensitive learning environment in a nurturing and challenging atmosphere. En'owkin Centre is a Leader in the development and implementation of Indigenous knowledge and systems, at the community, national and international levels. The word En'owkin is an Okanagan concept, which describes a respectful dialogue for clarification, conflict resolution, and group commitment, to come to the best solutions; essentially, consensus.
Our Story What We Do
The Enowkin Centre was established as the Okanagan Indian Curriculum Project in 1972, and in 1983 was incorporated as a non-profit society under the name of the Okanagan Indian Education Resources Society. Enowkin Centre acquired Theytus Books a Limited Company in 1985, for the Purposes of Publishing Indigenous Materials in Authentic Indigenous Voice, and as a complement to the Enowkin Centre International School of Writing.
The En'owkin Centre became a recognized Cultural Centre in 1988, and became Accredited as a Private Career Training Institution for the implementation of its Post-Secondary Mandate in 2005. It undertook as well to Partner with the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, and Okanagan College, for delivery of Publicly Recognized and Accredited training. The Centre has been active at the Local, National, and International levels in the preservation and revitalization of Okanagan Language and Culture, and Broader Indigenous Cultural preservation and revitalization for more than 40 years.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Enowkin Centre undertakes 5 primary functions including:
1. The Revitalization of Okanagan Language and Culture through Education including:
a) Post-secondary education programs listed below:
- N'syilxcen language Teacher Training.
- Early Childhood Education certificate.
- National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training Program.
- Certificate in Aboriginal Language Revitalization.
- Applied Environmental Technician (traditional Knowledge specialty).
- University College Entrance Program.
- Certificate in Indigenous Fine Arts Program.
- University ACCESS studies Program.
b) Land-based learning for K-12 Education, including curriculum development and delivery with band-operated schools and public schools in the areas of Aboriginal culture, language, community and environment. Initiated in 2012, the Syilx Land-based Learning Program has received funding and support from the Vancouver Foundation, the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen, Environment Canada, School District No. 67 Okanagan Skaha, and a growing list of program partners.
c) Professional Development for Certified Teachers at the Elementary, Secondary and Post Secondary level in Aboriginal and Community/Environmental teaching methodologies. d) Indigenous Knowledge Web Portal in Partnership with First Peoples World Wide Network, featuring Pacific Rim Projects aimed at implementing strategies to combat and adapt to global climate change.
2. The ECOmmunity Place & Locatee Lands Projects:
These projects serve to protect, restore and recover rare and endangered natural habitats and Indigenous species in the South Okanagan and to provide opportunities for learning for all people to embrace a culture of Reverence and Respect for the Natural World utilizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge and practice.
3. Community Cultural Events hosted or co-hosted by the En'owkin Centre include:
- Annual Salmon Fry Release and Feast
- Four Foods Feast
- Annual Meadowlark Nature Festival and Sunrise Ceremony
- Foster Parents AGM
- and many other community events.
4. Aboriginal Justice Program:
A Cultural program focused on alternative measures for Four Pillars in Justice including Prevention, Restitution, Rehabilitation, and Re-Integration utilizing Cultural and Ceremonial methods and practice.
5. Theytus Books Publishing:
The First Aboriginal Publishing House in Canada focused on publishing Aboriginal Authors, and authentic Aboriginal Voice.
What You Can Do
Please visit or contact the En'owkin Centre to learn more about the many ways you can help our organization fulfill our sacred responsibility to care for The Land and each other.