News

Syilx Okanagan Nation Welcomes Government of Canada’s Commitment to Recognition Principles

July 21st, 2017

(Syilx Okanagan Territory/Westbank, BC – July 21, 2017): The Okanagan Nation Alliance is pleased to receive the Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples that were released on Friday July 14, 2017. From the Nation’s perspective, these new principles will greatly assist the federal government in its reconciliation mandate and serve as a new baseline for Indigenous-Crown relationships.

In the last month, the Government of Canada and the rest of this country has celebrated 150 years since Canadian Confederation. However, from the Syilx Okanagan perspective, the last 150 years have been some of the most dark and tragic periods of time for our Nation. Yet, the Syilx Okanagan Nation has remained steadfastly committed to advancing its Title and Rights within Syilx Okanagan territory. For generations, the Syilx Okanagan Nation has been prepared to engage on true Nation-to-Nation dialogue premised on mutual respect and recognition and these principles are an indicator that the Government of Canada is finally prepared to engage in these discussions.

While the principles provide a solid foundation for a renewed Nation-to-Nation relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, the long road ahead will require tireless and continued commitment by the Government of Canada, Canadians and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, including the Syilx Okanagan Nation.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance has stated that, “These new principles are an important first step in improving Indigenous-Crown relationships, but the proof is action and outcomes.” He further stated that, “These principles are a long-awaited response to the 1910 Sir Wilfred Laurier Memorial, where the Syilx Okanagan Nation and other Indigenous Nations first addressed the grave injustices and infringements on these Nations Title and Rights as a result of rapid settlement and colonization.”

The Okanagan Nation Alliance represents its eight (8) member communities and is mandated to protect, advance and defend the Syilx Okanagan Nation’s collective Title and Rights.

Media Contact:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chair – Okanagan Nation Alliance
(250) 490-5314


UPDATED: Wildfire Safety Information Package

July 17th, 2017

July 20 Wildfire Update FireSmart – Evacutation ChecklistWildfires can start easily and spread quickly. Knowing what to do in an emergency is critical to ensuring the health and safety of your community members and protecting your critical infrastructure. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), BC Region, has prepared this information package to help your community […]

ONA Fisheries Summer 2017 Field Work Advisory

July 11th, 2017

Be advised that during the summer months between June and September, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will be conducting annual research and monitoring along the Okanagan Lake and River system (including connecting lakes and tributaries). Similar to previous years, sampling activities will involve/occur: in-lake and along shore lines at various times during the day/night from […]

Sockeye Tag Recovery Fish Lottery

July 10th, 2017

The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Fisheries Research Team is conducting a 2017 fish behaviour study of Okanagan River Sockeye.  HOW TO ENTER/HELP If you catch a Sockeye salmon in the Okanagan River and Osoyoos Lake, please check to see if the fish has a tag attached under the large top fin or inside the cavity […]

38 Syilx Participants Heading to Toronto to Compete at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games

July 7th, 2017

The Okanagan Nation proudly recognizes the 38 Syilx participants from across the Territory who will be competing in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). All of these competitors demonstrate a high level of dedication and excellence in their sport. They have further exhibited a strong commitment to their participation and representation at NAIG through […]

Communal xᵂminaʔ (Trout) Harvest from Pennask Lake

July 6th, 2017

From June 19 to July 3, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) has Ron Ned (Upper Nicola Band) and Mic Werstuik (Westbank First Nation) to help initiate xᵂminaʔ (trout) harvest in Pennask Lake for communal distribution.  Historically about 45,000-50,000 rainbow trout were harvested yearly from Pennask Lake. This harvest was abruptly stopped in the mid 1920’s with privatization of most of Pennask […]

Removal Recommendations for Flood Prevention Sandbags

June 22nd, 2017

The Provincial Regional Emergency Operation Centre (PREOC) is leading the Province’s recovery actions. The Emergency Management BC’s (EMBC) Interim Provincial of Sandbags Policy, which was distributed to Local Governments (includes local authorities, First Nation communities and their respective Band Councils) on June 17 provides the following information: For the 2017 Runoff Season, sandbag disposal will […]

Happy National Aboriginal Day! Ways to Celebrate

June 21st, 2017

There are many ways to celebrate Syilx pride or show support this National Aboriginal Day. Events and Celebrations include: Okanagan Indian Band: https://okib.ca/calendar/event/aboriginal-day-celebration-1 En’owkin Centre: http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/199421/Aboriginal-Day-this-week#.WUgyikvs3mc.email Kelowna Friendship Center: http://www.kfs.bc.ca/news-events-2/national-aboriginal-day  

Fish Water Management Tool (FWMT) & Okanagan Lake Levels FAQ

June 16th, 2017

It was recently reported that Okanagan Lake water level was not lowered sooner due to the decision to protect fish stocks (Global News, June 9, 2017). Unfortunately this position is out of context and missing key information, particularly in regards to the use of the Fish Water Management Tool in current Okanagan water management. Fish […]

Ceremonies Integral to Returning Salmon to the Columbia Region

June 15th, 2017

Westbank, BC Syilx Okanagan Territory: From June 15-20th, 2017, a series of five Salmon Ceremonies will take place throughout the Columbia Basin. These Salmon Ceremonies empower Syilx Okanagan people throughout the Territory, providing the opportunity to both honor their ancestors and continue to conduct ceremony for the successful return of the salmon. All locations are […]