Media Release: `A Way to Cope: Exploring Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in B.C. Youth’

September 18th, 2020

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Territory: The Syilx Okanagan Nation Chief’s Executive Council acknowledge A Way to Cope: Exploring Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in BC Youth released today by BC’s Representative for Children and Youth (RCY). The RCY had identified non-suicidal self-injury as a trend requiring closer examination. This report hits home highlighting many long standing, critical issues and gaps in service for BC’s youth with the intention of informing decision-makers, service providers and the public.

Serious concerns with BC’s system of care for children and youth with mental health support needs is not new and the Province must recognize the urgency of finding the path forward as outlined in their commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  The RCY has released many reports calling for vast changes within the service delivery system and  the reports are clear, the system is not effectively supporting our youth and as a result, they are left disconnected and in crises, some resulting in death.

Article 21.2 of the UN Declaration Indigenous Peoples outlines that “states shall take effective measure and where appropriate, special measures to ensure the continuing improvement of economic and social conditions.  With particular attention to rights and special needs of indigenous youth, children and persons with disabilities.”

It is reprehensible to learn that cultural connections were viewed as secondary considerations or less, ignoring how cultural connections could serve as a protective factor while multiple reports and best practice research has shown that culturally appropriate care is connected to better outcomes.  The blatant disregard of cultural considerations is unacceptable, our people been calling for the very implementation of cultural ways that have been developed and implemented since time immemorial.

There is a dire need for a fulsome transformation of the mental health system supporting the needs of our children and youth.  One of the report findings is that support is identifying children and youth as unwilling to engage, however it is likely that practitioners do not know how to support and our children and youth are left without critical resources.

Our children and youth are the core of our families and communities; it will take determined action by all people to ensure their proper support, safety and healing.  Syilx families, communities and Nation remain committed to addressing the issues, there is a requirement for partnership, collaboration and acknowledgement that it cannot be done alone.  The work must continue.

We appreciate the work of the RCY, continuing to bring light to these issues and advocating on behalf of children and youth in BC. We uphold our duty and obligation to fully protect, defend, uphold and advance the protection, health and wellbeing of our children and families, as such, we immediately call on the Provincial and Federal Governments to ensure adequate funding to fully transform the mental health system serving children and youth

To read the full report visit: https://rcybc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/RCY_NSSI_Report.FINAL_.pdf

For further information please contact:

Chief Keith Crow, Lower Similkameen Indian Band, ONA CEC Child & Family: 1-250-499-9333

Allan Louis, Syilx FNHA Representative: 1-250-306-8360

Media Release – RCY “A Way to Cope”


Supporting CCT Donations Drive

September 14th, 2020

In response to the ongoing fires on the Colville Reservation, the ONA is collecting donations to support the families affected. These donations will be delivered to them next week. Any contributions are greatly appreciated.

Drop Off Date, Time and Locations:

Westbank – Sept 14-16, 2020 8:30am – 4:30pm at ONA main office

Oliver: Sept 15, 2020 12:30pm – 3:00pm at OIB band office parking lot

Keremeos: Sept 15, 2020 3:30pm – 5:30pm at LSIB band office parking lot

Penticton: Sept 16, 2020 5:00pm – 7:00pm at ONA Wade office

 

See poster for more details and items we are looking for and accepting:

Colville Donations Poster


Congratulations qʷyqʷʕayáx̌n: stim aʔ ckistxʷ What do You do?

August 10th, 2020

The Okanagan Nation Alliance would like to congratulate qʷyqʷʕayáx̌n Levi Bent on his new book “stim aʔ ckistxʷ what do you do?”

If you wish to purchase a copy and support qʷyqʷʕayáx̌n Levi, email nxastatkw Elizabeth Bent at: nxastatkw@gmail.com

” I have been involved in learning and teaching nsyilxcen for over 10 years and am eager to share nsyilxcen language and culture to children and families in a fun and new light. Being a second language learner myself, I am aware of the unique challenges that we deal with in acquiring our language. It is with complete honesty that I wish to use my talents to help bring back the language of our ancestors” – qʷyqʷʕayáx̌n Levi Bent


Update: Access to sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ (OK Falls) fishery

August 6th, 2020

August 4, 2020

In his new role as Syilx Okanagan Nation Tribal Chair, Chief Clarence Louie and his team met with the Assistant Deputy Minister of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development yesterday afternoon to discuss the access issues at the sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ (OK Falls) fishery.

BC expressed its willingness to work with the Nation to secure safe, unfettered access to the fishery for our members. BC committed to working with the ONA to identify and implement permanent solutions moving forward. Chief Louie, Tribal Chair, and his ONA technical negotiation team will provide further community updates on this important issue as discussions continue with BC.


2020 Recipients of the Building a Better Future Bursary

July 30th, 2020

Each year the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Fortis BC provide two awards of $1200.00 to financially support eligible Syilx/ Okanagan Nation members enrolled or accepted into a recognized university or college on a full-time basis in a minimum 2 year program. Additionally we have received donations from  Hi-Trax, Lance McLean (PIB) and Progressive Fence, thus we were able to offer two additional $1200.00 bursaries.

This year the Okanagan Nation Alliance is pleased to announce four bursaries as part of this years Building a Better Future Bursary Program. The 2020 recipients are:

 

 


OKANAGAN NATION ALLIANCE ELECTS KI’LOWNA CHIEF CLARENCE LOUIE AS TRIBAL CHAIR

July 28th, 2020

tkwəɬniwt (Westbank), Syilx Okanagan Territory: The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) is pleased to announce that Chief Clarence Louie of Osoyoos Indian Band has been elected by the ONA Chiefs Executive Committee as Tribal Chair and spokesperson of the ONA. Chief Louie is the longest standing Chief within the Nation and will no doubt provide strong leadership based on his years of experience, knowledge and past service to the Nation.

 

PRESS RELEASE – ONA Announces Chief Clarence Louie as Tribal Chair

 


Mission Creek Restoration Initiative Effectiveness Monitoring, 2016-2019

July 15th, 2020

The Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) is a multi-stakeholder partnership formed in 2008 to address declining fish stocks and restore natural function to the lower reaches of Mission Creek, located in Kelowna, BC.

Phase I restoration began in 2015-2016 in a stretch of Mission Creek downstream of Casorso Road, where 540 m of the southern dike trail was setback. This setback resulted in 18,000 m2 floodplain re-engagement and side channel reconnection. In addition, habitat features were installed and four notch pools were excavated in left bank to re-meander the stream. Adaptive management occurred in 2018 to improve side channel flow patterns and remove accumulated sediment. In 2019, boulder clusters in two different formations were installed to direct flow into meander notch 2 and to increase habitat complexity.

Post-construction monitoring of fish habitat and site use has been conducted annually since 2016 to document effectiveness and inform adaptive management.

Read the report here: ONA_MCRI Effectiveness Monitoring 2019 FINAL

ONA is happy to continue working with the MCRI Steering Committee to bring back the health of Mission Creek.  Many thanks to the Steering Committee:

  • BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
  • Central Okanagan Land Trust
  • City of Kelowna
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Friends of Mission Creek
  • Okanagan Nation Alliance
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan
  • Westbank First Nation

The Okanagan Nation Alliance looks forward to continuing to document the successes and challenges of these projects as part of the larger vision of Okanagan Nation Elders in healing the watershed and kł cp̓əlk stim̓ – ’cause to come back’.

 

 

 


2020 Syilx Okanagan Nation Member Graduate Form

May 14th, 2020

Calling all Syilx Okanagan Nation Member 2020 graduates!

If you are graduating or know someone who is graduating please complete the google form: https://forms.gle/gRZW6ey3LiJknQZXA

The Okanagan Nation Alliance would like to recognize and acknowledge all Syilx Okanagan Nation members who are graduating this year. If you are graduating or know someone who is graduating please complete the form.