News

Syilx Chiefs Welcome Mental Wellness Funding Announcement

May 18th, 2018

Unceded Syilx Territory/Westbank, BC: The Chiefs of the Syilx Okanagan Nation welcome yesterday’s announcement establishing a $30 million fund targeted towards Mental Wellness. The much-anticipated funding agreement is a result of collaboration between the Province, Canada and the First Nations Health Council and will provide the much-needed resources to provide resources needed to address mental wellness issues at the community-level. The funding announcement is also an important step towards improving health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, including Syilx Peoples. The funding announcement comes at a critical time where Syilx families and communities continue to battle the impacts of mental health and addictions-related issues on a daily basis.

For countless generations, Indigenous health has been connected to the health and well-being of our lands. The Syilx Okanagan Chiefs have been working at every level of advocacy to bring mental health and addictions issues to the forefront and welcomes this funding commitment that will hopefully shed light on these critical issues. The funding agreement also outlines priorities to improve structuring at the local, regional, and provincial levels aimed at ensuring that BC First Nations are full partners in the planning, design, funding in delivery of mental health and substance use services. This work will require effective partnerships with the Ministry of Child and Family Development, Interior Health and other organizations recognizing and respecting the need for Syilx-specific approaches to be fully developed and implemented.

OKIB Councillor Allan Louis, FNHC Interior Representative has stated that, “The Syilx Okanagan Nation’s health and well-being is directly tied to the health of our lands. The Syilx Okanagan Nation has a long tradition of healing practices and approaches and the Nation is best positioned to design approaches aimed at improving the mental wellness outcomes for Syilx Peoples.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Syilx Okanagan Nation has stated that, “For years, we have advocated at every level for the funding necessary to initiate a Nation-coordinated approach to provide mental wellness services to our families and communities.” Grand Chief Phillip concluded by stating, “Yesterday’s announcement confirms that our years of advocacy has finally been heard.”

Media Inquiries:
Jennifer Lewis, Wellness Manager
Phone: at (250) 826-7844
E-mail: Wellness.Manager@syilx.org

MEDIA RELEASE- 2018 May 18 – Syilx Chiefs Welcomes Mental Wellness Funding Announcement


Okanagan Nation Celebrates 10th Annual Spirit Of Syilx Youth Unity Run To Continue Promoting Suicide And Violence Prevention And Awareness

May 9th, 2018

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: From May 10-13, 2018, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will celebrate the 10th Annual Spirit of Syilx Youth Unity Run., This annual event is an innovative approach to raising awareness and education with all participants and the public on issues of suicide and violence that continue to confront Syilx communities. The […]

Okangan Nation Committed To Restore sc’win (Sockeye Salmon) to Their Natural Habitat –The Okanagan Watershed

May 1st, 2018

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: Over the course of May, 2018, the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓  Hatchery will release 1.23 million sc’win (sockeye salmon) fry into the Okanagan watershed. This initiative includes a series of ceremonial releases that will take from May 2-15 at Shingle Creek, Trout Creek, 6 Mile Creek, and Mission […]

PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION CENTRAL TO SUCCESSFUL $1.45 MILLION FUNDING FOR INNOVATIVE FLOOD MAPPING PROJECT

April 10th, 2018

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: On April 10, 2018, the Okanagan Nation Alliance, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) announced that $1.45 million has been secured to enhance flood mapping for the Okanagan Valley. The funds received will go towards LiDAR* and digital aerial imagery acquisition for […]

OKANAGAN NATION ALLIANCE’S 4TH siwɬkʷ (WATER) FORUM FOCUSES ON RECONNECTING TO LAND AS PART OF OUR SHARED RESPONSIBILITY TO WATER MANAGEMENT

March 22nd, 2018

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: On March 22, 2018, as part of World Water Day, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) hosted our 4th siwɬkʷ (Water) Forum. This event brought together 85 people, including Syilx leadership, elders, traditional knowledge keepers and community members, alongside regional and provincial government, NGO representatives and academics to connect out on the […]

Syilx Language House Association Year 3 Interim Report

March 2nd, 2018

The Syilx Language House Association (SLHA) are reporting midway through the third year of their four-year language program. They are delivering best-practices and community language priorities. Their mission is to create advanced speakers and record Elders. They owe their success to the Paul Creek Curriculum and to commitment—of their students and teachers, of their Bands, […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Calls for Justice Reform

March 1st, 2018

(Syilx Territory: Westbank, BC) – Community members from the Syilx Okanagan Nation gathered at the Penticton Courthouse on Monday February 26, 2018 to rally against the systemic injustices exposed by the deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. The deaths highlight how Canada’s legal system continues to fail Indigenous people. Earlier this month, an all-white […]

Seeking Our snaqsilx Gathering to Connect Syilx Youth with Employment Opportunities

February 5th, 2018

Media Release – Seeking Our Snaqsilx Gathering Westbank, Okanagan Territory: From February 5-6, 2017, Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) BRIDGE’s program, in Partnership with Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, and Okanagan Indian Band’s Pre-Employment Support team, are hosting a networking event at the Penticton Lakeside Resort, which brings Syilx youth and front line workers ( […]

Working Partnerships Advance Protection of ki?lawna? (Grizzly Bear) and Other Threatened Wildlife

January 12th, 2018

Westbank), Syilx Territory: The ONA has been taking action to reduce pressures on ki?lawna? and recover threatened populations. Most recently, in collaboration with ONA, Clayton Lamb at the University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences, released the results of a new study that provides insight on the relationships between ki?lawna? and road density. The results […]

To Honor and Educate, Unveiling of Syilx Indian Residential School Monument

November 28th, 2017

snpíntktn (Penticton), Syilx Territory: Today the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) held an official public unveiling ceremony for the new Syilx Indian Residential School monument. This monument is placed where the train and the cattle trucks came to gather Syilx children and take them away to Indian Residential Schools, next to the kł cpə̓ lk) stim̓ […]