Oliver Jackson was born in Norfolk, England 1899 and was one of eleven children. Oliver learned to sew from his mother at a young age and would practice whittling wood while he herded sheep. Oliver was fascinated by Indigenous culture and created his first “costume” at the age of eight.
Oliver moved to Kelowna in the late 1920’s after the First World War and worked as a cowboy at the Christian Ranch for Countess Bubna.
Over the years Oliver continued to create “Indian costumes” which were in high demand for regattas and other events. In this way our story and histories as indigenous, specifically Okanagan people, was misrepresented and therefore misinterpreted.
This misguided representation brought forth issues and concerns that we are still addressing today.
Today we are reclaiming our heritage by readdressing the Oliver Jackson collection, not to offend but to utilize as a learning tool to better understand the difference between appropriation and appreciation.
We appreciate the work created by Oliver Jackson as it was of high quality and often under the guidance of various First Nation People with good intentions. It is because of this collection we have the opportunity to reflect on indigenous cultures across Canada