Would you believe me if I told you I spent the whole day in the Okanagan with Ogopogo? Thanks to Jordan Coble from the Sncewips Heritage Museum in West Kelowna, I now know two things: Ogopogo is much more than a cartoon rendering, and Ogopogo (n’ha-a-itk) is all around the Okanagan.
The Spirit of Ogopogo in the Okanagan
“In our language it’s n’ha-a-itk, the spirit of the lake. To me, when you talk about n’ha-a-itk it’s the spirit of the water. It’s everything in our life, everything revolves around it,” Jordan explained to me while I was on an expedition with ZenSeekers. We had just hiked up the Boucherie Rush Trail on Mount Boucherie to get a panoramic view of the land and lake.
Find out where the name Ogopogo came from »
“It’s not just the water, it’s the water bugs, the fish, the plants, everything that it flows in and out of, and that’s what n’ha-a-itk to me is. So, when people come and ask, ‘where can we find Ogopogo?’ I say well you’re looking at it. Everything you see here is Ogopogo.”
I got to experience the spirit of the lake through history and culture at the Sncewips Heritage Museum, through its people at Kekuli Bannock Cafe, and through its Indigenous food sources that are cooked up into fusion masterpieces at the Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery.
So while the cartoon Ogopogo, and our own Loch Ness-style mystery is fun, I think you’ll find that discovering and savouring what n’ha-a-itk truly means will be far more rewarding!
If You Go
- Check out the Tourism Kelowna website to start exploring the area.
- Need help with your itinerary? Learn more here.
- The Sncewips Heritage Museum is a great place to learn about the First Nations people of the Okanagan region
- Learn more about the Syilx First Nation, its people, land and winery at the Indigenous World Winery & Red Fox Club website.
- Kekuli Cafe is a must stop for all things bannock and more.
- Get the full story on ZenSeekers here.