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About Qwelxana

VICTORIA BAPTISTE ~ ARTIST STATEMENT

Qwəɬxanaʔ (pronounced kwel-hannah) is an nsyilxcen word meaning “Dust Dancer”. In English, qwəɬxanaʔ describes the clouds of dust left behind after one dances by. As a name, qwəɬxanaʔ insinuates someone who dances through life, kicking up the dirt making dust storms & leaving clouds of dust behind them. Qwəɬxanaʔ is the nsyilxcen name for Victoria Baptiste. She is a descendent of the syilx (Okanagan) & secwepemc (Shuswap) territories and a member of the Penticton Indian Band.

Victoria “Tori” comes from a large family and was raised in a culturally enriched environment, surrounded by syilx culture and fluent speakers of the nsyilxcen language. She is one of the Okanagan Nation's younger knowledge keepers and is trained in Okanagan story telling and performance (dancing/ singing) and of the syilx territory’s legendary and historical sites. This beginning led her to pursue the personal and professional aspirations of using digital media to record and document First Nations people, places and information. Victoria specializes in projects based on Indigenous people, characters, language, stories, places and/ or history.

Through the use of media and new media arts and technologies Tori provides audiences with a body of work sharing the Indigenous perspective, voice and world view. She produces and creates projects intended to stimulate thought, discussion or change in the ideas, opinions or actions of her audience regarding Indigenous peoples and issues. In essence, she intends to live up to her nsyilxcen name by kicking up the dirt and making dust storms through her craft.

Victoria is always seeking new challenges; as an artist, an individual, as a woman & an Indigenous person. She is an experienced multi-media producer, director, facilitator, project manager, artistic director, curator and storyteller.