Tag Archives: Okanagan Nation

Canoe journey crosses colonial border, upholding syilx sovereignty: ‘this is still our territory’

By Aaron Hemens, The Discourse, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For the 22nd year in a row, syilx Okanagan people took a canoe journey across the invisible border between “Canada” and the “United States” that divides their territory — challenging a colonial marker that continues to infringe upon their unceded homelands.

Dozens of pullers hauled at least 10 boats, including several dugout canoes, to the shore of nk’mip (Osoyoos Lake) in sw̓iw̓s (Osoyoos) in syilx homelands on Tuesday. The group sailed through the lake’s waters on the way to Oroville, Washington, before returning later in the day. 

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Documentary series explores couple’s journey to decolonize wellness

By Aaron Hemens, The Discourse, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An Indigenous couple on syilx homelands has completed a documentary series that details their wellness journey of decolonizing their lifestyles and embracing cultural ways of being.

Decolonizing Wellness is a six-part video production created by cə̓q̓cq̓am (Thunder) Ryan Oliverius of Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and Shayla Raine, a nehiyaw iskwew from Louis Bull Tribe.

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‘We are salmon people’: First Nation leaders in B.C. demand audience with fisheries minister

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Editor’s note: The Klahoose, Homalco and Tla’amin First Nations are among the 102 First Nations demanding that fish farms be moved onto land.

It’s been nearly five years since Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil has pulled salmon from the Fraser River and strung fish over wooden racks to dry in the wind, preserving food for his family and his people’s ancestral traditions. 

He and other First Nations leaders and communities in B.C. dependent on salmon are grieving the ongoing disappearance of the fish that defines them. And they are angry Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) continues to deny their constitutional right of first access to fish, said McNeil, president of Stó꞉lō Tribal Council. 

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The Columbia River Treaty today

By Chadd Cawson, The Columbia Valley Pioneer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In a recent article by the Pioneer, one looked at the history of the Columbia River Treaty and its implications. 2024 will mark the 60-year point since the U.S. prepaid Canada $64 million to ensure flood control operations would be provided. This Treaty remains in place until one party gives a 10-year termination notice, however, its guidelines have been evolving more recently.

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Penticton Indian Band is using syilx traditional methods to reduce wildfire risk

By Athena Bonneau, The Discourse, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) is working with BC Wildfire Serviceon a new wildfire risk reduction project using traditional syilx methods.

“All of the PIB [wildfire risk reduction] projects are informed by Elders and knowledge keepers,” says James Pepper, director of PIB’s natural resource department. “They write the prescriptions, then we implement them.”

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