News

Sockeye Run Makes Historic Returns to Tributaries on kłusxnitkw (Okanagan Lake)

October 31st, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) are honoured to announce the return of sc’win (Sockeye Salmon) back to many of the tributaries that feed into kłusxnitkw over the 2022 season. Since 2019 ONA has worked to achieve salmon passage at Okanagan Dam in Penticton. The importance of returning sc’win to kłusxnitkw is heightened due to the cooler waters of the lake, that provide the species a haven in the face of climate change and warming waters, which can prevent salmon from returning and laying their eggs.

sc’win have now been observed spawning in Penticton Creek, Trout Creek, Peachland Creek, Trepanier Creek, Powers Creek, Mission Creek, Whiteman Creek and Equesis Creek, with individual counts ranging from just a few to over 1,000. One location where the success of these returns has been recently recorded is on Trout Creek, near Summerland. This creek has seen over 400 Sockeye return to lay their eggs. The success of this return is the result of a multi-pronged effort by ONA to ensure the tributary was prepared to have fish come back, and has included marine nutrient loading, which involves placing salmon carcasses from our broodstock work [click here to learn more] back into waterways to encourage salmon to locate the waterway in the future. ONA has also recently reinstalled riffles (shallow rapids) in the channelized creek to oxygenate the water and provide spawning habitat, while engaging traditional knowledge keepers to provide ceremony and cultural protocols to the work. This has been done alongside consistent salmon fry releases into the creeks in the spring that allow the salmon to imprint on the location and know where to return.

“The return of sc’win back to these creeks and streams on kłusxnitkw are not simply a success story of salmon returning, but year of our Syilx advocacy and persistence and resistance to assert our leadership and responsibilities to govern, manage and stewards our lands and resources including our sacred food Chief sc’win(nytikxw). So this return is illustrative of a much broader picture of ensuring Syilx title and rights but our responsibilities to indigenous food sovereignty, our economy this region of Syilx Territory. Further, the cultural revitalization for Syilx people throughout the territory is imperative. By enacting our inherent responsibilities to the water and the timxw, we are ensuring that salmon will continue to return to feed our peoples and lands for generations to come,” Chief Clarence Louie, ONA Tribal Chair, stated.

The ONA are asking residents throughout the territory to please not walk through the rivers, or allow their dogs to go into these waterways, as they run the chance of destroying the salmon eggs that are located in their gravel nests in the water.

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The kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery is a testament to the perseverance of the Syilx people to realize their dream of restoring the n’titxw (Salmon) – one of our Four Food Chiefs – to their original habitat and rightful place in our territory. Opened in 2014, the 25,000 square foot hatchery has the capacity to rear 8 million eggs. It is currently equipped to handle all fish culture aspects required for 5 million eggs from brood stock management until fry release.

For information please contact:
y̓ilm] ixʷm (Chief) Clarence Louie, ONA Tribal Chair
T: 250-498-9132

Media Release


Osoyoos Indian Band Reacts to Community Safety Unit Raid of Local Business

October 22nd, 2022

OSOYOOS, BRITISH COLUMBIA (October 21, 2022) – The Osoyoos Indian Band (“OIB”) and Okanagan Nation Alliance (“ONA”) are outraged at the conduct of the Community Safety Unit in raiding a local business without the OIB’s consent. On October 19, 2022, after previously assuring OIB’s Chief and Council that they would not enter OIB lands without […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Annual Gathering Raises Awareness About Violence and Systemic Racism Regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls Two-Spirit+ and Kin

October 5th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: From October 5-6, 2022, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will host the 4th Annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit+ Gathering. This event supports our Nation members to come together in solidarity, share stories and experience, and take action to ensure women, girls, two-spirit plus and kin are safe […]

Open Letter for a Public Inquiry into the Ministry of Children and Family Services following the Fraud and Thefts of Robert R. Saunders

October 3rd, 2022

We are writing this letter on behalf of the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Chief’s Executive Council (CEC) in regards to Child Protection and Resource worker Robert Riley Saunders (Saunders). Saunders had spent over a decade stealing support services funding from mostly indigenous youth in foster care with the use of a falsified Social Work degree. […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Demand Justice on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

September 29th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: On September 30, 2022, starting at 10 am, the Syilx Okanagan Nation will host a 5 kilometer “Walk for the Children”. This takes place on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the walk will go from the Penticton Peach at Okanagan Lake and move to the Syilx Indian Residential School […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation’s Salmon Feast Celebrates the Sacredness of the River at Traditional Fishing Camp sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitk

September 16th, 2022

sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ, Syilx Okanagan Territory: From September 16-18, 2022, Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers, youth and community members from across the Syilx Okanagan Nation will gather at sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ (Okanagan Falls), a culturally significant site that was formally a part of the Osoyoos Indian Reserve, to take part in the annual Salmon Feast. This year’s gathering is particularly significant due to […]

Okanagan Nation Alliance’s Co-Publication Wins 2021 Mercer Patriarche Best Paper in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management

August 24th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Okanagan Nation Alliance is honoured to announce that their co-authored publication “Age-Structured Interactions among Reintroduced Sockeye Salmon, Resident Kokanee, Invasive Mysids, and their Zooplankton Prey in Skaha Lake, British Columbia” was selected by the American Fisheries Society as the best publication for 2021 in the North American Journal of Fisheries […]

Building a Better Future Bursary Receipents

August 11th, 2022

The ability of Syilx students to access post-secondary education is central to our Nation moving forward and our voices being heard. This year the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Fortis BC and EMB Management Ltd. provided a total of 12 awards to financially support eligible Syilx Okanagan Nation students. The Building a Better Future Bursary has been […]

In the Face of Continued Colonial Practices, Syilx Okanagan Nation Sign the axá iʔ sccuntət iʔ tl x̌aʔxítət x̌l iʔ nəqsil̓tət (Family Declaration) at Annual General Assembly to Protect Children and Families

July 28th, 2022

snkx̌ykntn (Revelstoke), Syilx Territory:  From July 26 – 28, 2022, the Okanagan Nation Alliance hosted our Annual General Assembly in snkx̌ykntn. This annual event gathered Syilx Okanagan members from across the Nation — including leaders, Elders, traditional knowledge keepers, youth and community members — to celebrate the many successes that have taken place for Syilx […]

Okanagan sc’win (sockeye) Information and Updates

July 13th, 2022

Based on harvest information gathered since 2008, we are estimating a higher than average number of sc’win (sockeye salmon) to return to the Columbia watershed (and thus Okanagan subbasin) for the 2022 season. Returns of sc’win are monitored by tracking the numbers of fish that go through various dams and sites on the Columbia River. […]

Okanagan Nation Alliance and EMB Management Ltd. Announce Annual Commitment to ONA’s “Building a Better Future Bursary” Program

May 29th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) is pleased to announce that EMB Management Ltd’s has committed $10,000 annually to the ONA’s Building a Better Future Bursary Program. This program assists Syilx students in their pursuit of education. This announcement demonstrates the power of supporting First Nations students. “We will build and maintain […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Demands Justice for Victims One Year After Remains of 215 Children Unearthed at Kamloops Indian Residential School

May 23rd, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: On May 27, 2022, the Syilx Okanagan Nation recognizes the one-year anniversary of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announcing the unearthing of 215 remains at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Children from across many First Nations, including the Syilx Okanagan Nation, attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and this revelation is felt by […]

Media Advisory – Syilx Okanagan Nation’s Fry Release at akɬ xʷuminaʔ

May 4th, 2022

WHEN: Thursday, May 5th, 2022. 9:30 am – 10:30 am. WHAT: Syilx Okanagan Nation members, and nearlyt 400 students from 13 local schools, will take part in a ceremonial release of 10,000 sc’win (sockeye) fry. These fry have been raised as part of Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Fish in Schools (FinS) Program, along with fry […]

nʔaysnú laʔxʷ iʔ k̓łluxʷnwixʷmntət Declaration of the Ashnola Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA)

April 28th, 2022

nʔaysnú laʔxʷ (Ashnola), Keremeos, BC, sməlqmí x / syilx Territory: Today, the sməlqmí x, the syilx people of the Similkameen Valley announced the designation of a new Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) in their territory. The Ashnola IPCA declaration upholds the inherent jurisdiction and responsibility of the sməlqmí x to protect and manage their […]

Syilx Nation Demands Accountability and Justice for the Victims of Deliberate Genocide and Murder in the Face of Ongoing Denial and Lack of Accountability for Indian Residential Schools

April 4th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: On April 1, 2022, Pope Francis issued an apology for the conduct of some Roman Catholic Church members in the Canadian residential school system after a week of discussions with a delegation of First Nation, Inuit and Metis representatives. This followed the Government of Canada recent pledge of an additional $2.9 million to assist […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Celebrate World Water Day with 8th Annual Water Forum that Included Key Notes from Maori Water Activists and Local Water Ceremonies

March 23rd, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Syilx Okanagan Nation celebrated World Water Day with the 8th annual siwɬkʷ (Water) Forum. This year’s Forum explored how the Syilx Okanagan Nation holds up siwɬkʷ as a living relative, and how we can continue to collaborate to protect siwɬkʷ.  The morning included an online event, which started with WFN […]

Okanagan Nation Alliance to Have Full Voting Rights on Okanagan Basin Water Board

March 2nd, 2022

Kelowna, B.C. – The three regional district boards of the Okanagan have voted to change the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB)’s governance structure, giving the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) representative equal voting powers as the representatives appointed by the regional districts. This amends a provision in place since the ONA’s seat on the water board […]

Open Letter Regarding Freedom Convoy Hate Crimes

February 15th, 2022

The Syilx Okanagan Nation Chief Executive Council is calling for swift response, and support, of regional officials and the RCMP to ensure the safety of our Nation members after receiving reports of a series of racially motivated violent crimes coming out of what is now referred to as Freedom Convoy movement on Syilx territory and […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Stands in Solidarity with the T’exelcemc as 93 Grave Sites are Located at the Old St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School Site

January 28th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Syilx Okanagan Nation stands in solidarity with the T’exelcemc (people of Williams Lake First Nation) as preliminary results from geophysical investigations have identified 93 “reflections” of potential human burials, at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School near Williams Lake, BC. We are sending prayers to all peoples who […]

‘Fish in Schools’ Program Extends to Over 30 School in the Face of COVID-19 Restrictions

January 19th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: Over the last week the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) delivered the final round of the fish tanks and equipment to 30 schools throughout Syilx territory, including 13 returning schools and groups in the Columbia, as part of the Fish in Schools (FinS) program. These deliveries have come as new provincial regulations […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Call on US Secretary of Interior to Relaunch ki?lawna? (Grizzly Bear) Recovery Work in the Northern Cascades of the US

January 13th, 2022

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Syilx Okanagan Nation is urging the US Secretary of Interior, Deb Haaland, to act immediately and relaunch the recovery planning process for ki?lawna (grizzly bear) in the US portion of the North Cascades. This process was stalled under the previous US Administration since 2016.  However, we are hopeful that the […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Demand Proper Engagement Regarding Recent Old Growth Forest Deferrals Announcement by the Province of BC

December 17th, 2021

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Syilx Okanagan Nation are deeply concerned and disappointed by the recent announcement by the Province of BC that claims to have engaged and consulted with 161 First Nations regarding old growth logging deferrals. Instead, of the 161 Nations that were ‘heard from’ on this process, most are fully opposed, and […]

wápupxn (lynx) Project

November 19th, 2021

Protection of all parts of the tmixw requires strong collaborations to ensure successful restoration efforts take place and assertion of our responsibilities throughout all parts of the territory. As part of this commitment the Okanagan Nation Alliance are working with the Colville Confederated Tribes — alongside local trappers, BC’s Ministry of Forests, Land, Natural Resource […]