Elliott Tonasket is from the Syilx First Nation in Penticton. He reported his 2001 F-350 stolen from a motel parking lot in Greenwood, B.C. early Thursday morning, Sept. 3. (Facebook/Elliott Tonasket)

Truck reported stolen in Greenwood held Penticton Indian Band councillor’s cultural object

The object is a fasting feather the councilor says he was given after a long fast in Penticton

  • Sep. 15, 2020 12:00 a.m.

A councillor on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) is missing a precious cultural object after his truck was reportedly stolen from outside a hotel in Greenwood, B.C.

Elliott Tonasket of the Syilx First Nation told the Gazette he was staying at the city’s Evening Star Motel when security camera footage shows his 2001 white F-350 went missing from the motel parking lot around 2 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3.

My 2001 f-350 was Stolen from the Evening Star Hotel in Greenwood BC between 1:57-2am. If you see please call the RCMP….

Posted by Elliott Tonasket on Thursday, September 3, 2020

More important than his truck, which he called “a piece of metal,” Tonasket said the Ford stored a fasting feather given to him by prominent Syilx elder, Arnold Baptiste.

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Tonasket, who practices his people’s culture, said Baptiste honoured him with the feather at a mountaintop ceremony near Penticton at the end of a four-day fast. For the past four years, the feather has symbolized not only his physical sacrifice, but also his family’s spiritual healing and reconciliation, he said.

He described his fasting feather as a plume of eagle feathers fixed to a whittled staff striped with red ochre.

Tonasket said he was staying at the Evening Star while monitoring area work crews for the PIB’s Natural Resource Department.

Speaking for Midway RCMP, which patrols the City of Greenwood, Cpl. Ted Bowen said Mounties are reviewing security footage obtained from the Evening Star as they continue to investigate the theft of Tonasket’s truck.

Cpl. Bowen said the investigation had turned up no suspects or witnesses by Thursday afternoon.

Police are asking anyone who sees the truck, license plate number JT 5794 to call 911 right away.


@ltritsch1laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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