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Francis Baptiste

These drawings by Francis Baptiste (Sis-hu-lk) were most likely created within a year of each other. By this time, the Inkameep students, like most children in North America, had come in contact with Walt Disney Studio productions and their signature style of cartoon animation. In 1941 the class sent a Christmas card to Walt Disney himself, featuring the Seven Dwarfs as Indians sliding down a mountain, with the words Gloria In Excelsis Deo written down the side of the card. While the images reveal a likeness to the Disney style, Baptiste also deliberately included specific references to place and local culture. In one drawing, a large-eyed girl wears carefully detailed Okanagan dress. The plant at her feet is not imaginary, but an antler brush native to the land around the Nk'Mip Reserve. Disney-like imagery is set in the context of traditional Okanagan basketry, toule mat teepees and small tufts of grass indigenous to the region. Traditional elements of Okanagan culture also overlap with signs of the emerging agriculture industry.

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