Dec. 2 – Starting a Conversation with Norah Bowman: Mapping Whiteness and White Supremacy on Unceded Syilx Territory in the Central Okanagan.


As a result over a century of colonial policies, laws, and practices, the Okanagan Valley has become a cultural space in which whiteness is associated with regional citizenship. By regional citizenship, I mean the Okanagan associations of valley land-ownership, access to local capital, and participation in leisure and pleasure culture. In my recent research on land use in the valley, I have found repeated examples of the presence of BIPOC in the Okanagan Valley. Farmers, families, and workers from China, Japan, Jamaica and India have been part of Okanagan valley
settler culture for over 100 years. As well, this land is the unceded home of the Syilx Okanagan Indigenous people, whose knowledge and cultural contributions should form the idea of regional

So why do people say “Kelowna is so white”? What is the effect of this kind of statement? And how can we trouble it? One idea I have is mapping the movement, presence, forced relocation, and cultural and economic contributions of BIPOC in this valley, and seeing how Central Okanagan Whiteness is a result of purposeful white supremacist culture. Let’s talk!

Norah Bowman, PhD, is a professor at Okanagan College. She is Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies and teaches English Lit as well as Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies. Norah is a school board trustee in school district 23. Her book of poetry and prose about Okanagan Mountain will be published with Caitlin Press in 2021.

Join us for the next talk in ICER’s Starting a Conversation series on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 from 12 noon to 1pm. This presentation will be via Zoom.
To register, please e-mail: by Dec. 2 at 10 am.