Syilx 2SLGBTQQIA+ Wellness Gathering

February 24th, 2022

stamiyaʔ coming together

After some careful thought and consideration, we have decided to cancel the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Wellness Gathering.

We want to thank those who have registered for this event and offer our regrets for the cancellation of this gathering.

With some reflection, we can see some better ways to go about these types of events, such as planning more in advance to allow ample time for voices and folks to be included in the planning process.

The YES Program aims to support Syilx Nation members who are dealing with the impacts of family violence. The 2SLGBTQQIA+ Wellness Gathering creates space for Nation members to gather to discuss the roles and responsibilities in keeping our communities safe and healthy. It is a safe space for folks to share openly and to discuss 2SLGBTQQIA+ issues freely, developing a spirit of comradery and nationhood.

The 2SLGBTQQIA+ Wellness Gathering is an important event for folks to come together to look at Syilx and personal wellness. This will be an inclusive space that all individuals in attendance can find support, gain some inspiration, look at self-care and talk about how we can start addressing specific challenges that impact our 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.

Children First Forum

January 5th, 2022

The Children First Forum is an annual ONA event held to bring together syilx Okanagan leadership, staff, and community members working with children and families to equip them with tools for care of our children.  This includes building relationships, gaining new ideas and perspectives, preparing to lobby for legal jurisdiction, and addressing any gaps.

Open to Syilx Okanagan Nation members and the general public!

As a follow up to the first session of the Children First Forum, the ONA Child and Family Team is working to deliver more virtual keynote presentations from advocates of Indigenous children and families, as well as providing an update on the Syilx Child and Family Plan. The keynote speaker for this session will be Cindy Blackstock. Cindy Blackstock is a tireless champion for the rights of Indigenous children and families. She is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, a National organization she co-founded, as well as a professor at McGill University’s school of social work. Cindy will share her work with the CHRT and her fight with Canada for equal funding for First Nation children and families.

This event is subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19.


Stories Forum: captikʷl as our teacher

November 19th, 2021

Okanagan Nation Alliance will be hosting several captikʷl Stories Forums this year, in partnership with the En’owkin Centre. The captikʷl forums are held for feedback and community engagement in examining Syilx captikʷl on the Syilx Way of Living, how lessons from the captikʷl connect with our modern way of living, and how to integrate Syilx values and principles within captikʷl in Policy & Planning.

Session 1: December 15, 2021 – What is Syilx Wellness?

Session 2: January 18, 2022 – What is Syilx Wellness? continued

Session 3: February 8, 2022 – What is Syilx Wellness? continued

Session 4: March5/6, 2022 – Living Through Story: Looking deeper into captikʷl and smimáy

The first three sessions will feature open dialogue for feedback and community engagement in examining Syilx captikʷl to determine What is Syilx Wellness? The Okanagan Nation Alliance will be partnering with UBCO for the afternoon discussions to examine how lessons from the captikʷl l connects with our modern way of living in relation to wellness for Syilx peoples. We will also determine how to integrate Syilx values and principles within captikʷl for research in partnership with UBCO.

Open to Syilx Nation Members only.

Four Food Chiefs Gathering

August 6th, 2021

ɬə txətʼntiməlx mnimɬcəlx kʷu ks txətʼntimʼ

When we take care of them, they take care of us.

The Four Food Chiefs Gathering is an annual gathering of Syilx Nation members. This event focuses on information sharing, utilizing the enowkinwixw model through our Four Food Chiefs.

Each year, the event consists of workshops, discussions, presentations, keynotes and activities that focus on connecting to the land and water, connecting to each other, our well-being and learning useful tools to thrive!

2022 4FC Posters


Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, & Two Spirit Gathering

December 8th, 2020

The Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLBTQQIA+ (MMIWG2S) has been a National tragedy over many decades, and has affected the Syilx Nation directly through the loss of our loved ones within our communities.

The 4th annual MMIWG2S Gathering will feature Keynote speakers and presentations on some of the current issues so the Syilx Nation can begin to take action moving forward.

Please Note: We will also be hosting a Sisters in Spirit Vigil on October 4th at the Kelowna Courthouse from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Open to everyone and no registration required to attend. 

2022 MMIWG2S Poster
2022 MMIWG2S Agenda

Purple Ribbon Caravan

August 14th, 2020


The Purple Ribbon Campaign is an annual campaign to raise awareness leading up to International Opioid Overdose Awareness Day on August 31.  The campaign focuses on sharing resources, promoting discussion, and offering information related to the drug and opioid crisis and is a response to the urgent need to address the stigma that surrounds drug use.  Through raising awareness, the campaign supports healing and creating change within our communities and our Nation.

Printable Purple Ribbons: #endoverdose



Emergency Contact List

Home Detox Resource

IH Self-Management Resources

Counting Your Drinks

Safer Drinking Tips

BC COVID-19 Mental Health Network

For more resources and information visit: our-programs-and-services/purple-ribbon-campaign


Grandmothers Gathering

January 24th, 2020

Calling Syilx Grandmother’s who are passionate about working with children and families

This event is an opportunity for Grandmothers within the Syilx Okanagan Nation to gather and focus on familial roles, Nation needs, and traditional models of child-raising in today’s world.  Grandmothers will identify training and capacity needs within the Nation, define and reclaim family roles and responsibilities, and connect with one another.

Syilx Grandmothers have an inherent role and responsibility to strengthen/teach the practice of Syilx traditions, culture and language. Following Phase II, and Phase IV of the Grandmothers Group Strategy, this event includes Nation and community relationship development and initial steps to the development of a Grandmothers Group Work Plan.

Open to all Syilx Nation Grandmothers | Spaces are limited

PLEASE NOTE: Registration is now full, including our waitlist. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Madison Terbasket at

Grandmothers Gathering 2022 Poster
Grandmothers Gathering 2022 Agenda



Syilx Nation Drug Forum

June 20th, 2019

Responding to the opioid drug crisis

The Syilx Nation Drug Forum is an annual event to create space for sharing of information, resources, tools, stories and personal experiences related to drug and alcohol use. It began in response to the opioid drug crisis and focuses on bringing awareness to overdose. This will be a space for meaningful discussion around what is needed for the Nation going forward; capacity building as well as healing – these are integral elements to overall Syilx well-being which is the main objective of the ONA wellness program. We want to explore the personal experiences of people, families, and communities in the Nation and focus on what the needs are in moving toward wider opportunities for healing. Addiction and overdose is a complex issue that requires complex attention. We want to bring together Nation members, workers, and partners to continue meaningful conversations around addressing needs and creating healing.

This event is for Syilx Nation members, community members, and community member staff.

Syilx Women’s Wellness Gathering

January 10th, 2019

tkəłmilxʷ coming together

The YES Program aims to support Syilx Nation members who are dealing with the impacts of family violence. The Women’s Wellness Gathering creates space for women to gather on the land to discuss their roles and responsibilities in keeping our women and girls safe. It is a safe space for women to share openly and to discuss women’s issues freely, developing a spirit of comradery and nationhood.

This event is important because women have gender specific issues and goals that need to be planned and developed in hopes of decreasing violence within our communities. The outcome is a commitment to protect our women and girls and to live violence free. This aligns with YES program deliverables and the need for women’s programming.

*Please Note: All in-person spots have been filled but please continue to register to join our in-person waiting list. We will contact you in the case of cancellations. You will still receive the Zoom link and any other information to join virtually. 

More info coming very soon!

2022 Women’s Gathering Poster
2022 Women’s Gathering Agenda


Syilx Men’s Wellness Gathering

January 10th, 2019

sqəl̓tmixʷ coming together

The YES Program aims to support Syilx Okanagan members who are dealing with the impacts of family violence. The Men’s Wellness Gathering creates space for men to gather on the land to discuss their roles and responsibilities in keeping our women and girls safe. It is a safe space for men to share openly and to discuss men’s issues freely, developing a spirit of comradery and nationhood.

This event is important because men have gender specific issues and goals that need to be planned and developed in hopes of decreasing violence within our communities. The outcome is a commitment to protect our women and girls and to live violence free. This aligns with YES program deliverables and the need for men’s programming.

More info coming very soon!

2022 Men’s Gathering Poster
2022 Men’s Gathering Agenda

Salmon Feast

November 29th, 2016

Join our Celebration and Honour the Sacredness of the River

It is one of the goals of the Syilx Okanagan Nation to carry on the work of the people’s ancestors and Elders who taught the importance of preserving and revitalizing the traditions, customs, and language of the Syilx people. The Salmon Feast honours the sacredness of the river at sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ (Okanagan Falls), which is a culturally significant site for the Syilx Okanagan People, and an important traditional fishing camp, gathering place and trading site. The Salmon Feast is a three-day event that involves multiple activities including: ceremonies, a canoe paddle, and on Sunday a salmon feast and ceremony for snx̌aʔiwləm  (to honour the sacredness of the river).

The Annual  Salmon Feast is an essential practice in the continued organized efforts of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and member communities to raise the importance of the habitat protection and rehabilitation of local ecosystems, watersheds, and renew connections and relationships between all residents of the Region with water and fish. It is vitally important that we honour the salmon so they will always come back to feed the people.

ONA Salmon Feast Artwork Gallery

Annual General Assembly & Syilx Elder Youth Summit

November 29th, 2016

skc exwexwipla/ Uł stełtalt

The Annual General Assembly takes place each summer, along with the Syilx Elder Youth Summit.  The event brings together the Syilx Okanagan Nation to celebrate our accomplishments and provide an opportunity for Nation members to come together.  The AGA is hosted by each of the Syilx Okanagan communities on a rotating basis.


Salmon Ceremonies

November 29th, 2016

Honoring Our Ancestors & Praying for the Salmon

We honour our ancestors with this annual ceremony in which we gather in five separate locations along the Columbia River to help pray for the return of the salmon, two on the United States side and three on the Canadian side. This five-day event starts at Kettle Falls, Washington which is organized by the Inchelium Language House Association and then takes place in Castlegar, Revelstoke, and at McIntyre Dam in BC and Enloe Dam in Washington on successive dates. These locations were chosen for their traditional location our people used to gather at to fish. Both these days start by gathering along the banks of the river to pray for the return of the fish which is then followed by a lunch and giveaway. Everyone is welcome to attend, so please bring your drum and help us pray for the return of the salmon. Registration is not needed.


Spirit of Syilx Youth Unity Run

November 23rd, 2016

We run for our people and our land

Between 140 and 200 Okanagan Nation members will come together over the multi-day event, with a minimum of 100 partakers joining for the entire event. Based on the previous years, the average age of runners will be in between the ages of 14 and 18, with the youngest runner being 5 and the oldest in their 60’s.  The majority of the runners will be members of Okanagan Nation communities who are chaperoned by designated community members. If you have youth that would like to participate, please contact your local member community youth worker or Wellness/Health department. If you would like to bring your own youth or yourselves please register directly with the ONA.

This event occurs annually on the first weekend in June!

2022 Unity Run Update

The Okanagan Nation Alliance is happy to be back in full-swing for our 14th annual Spirit of Syilx Unity Run! We are running in-person on June 3-5 from KIRS to Penticton IRS monument via Chase this year to trace the journey that our ancestors made and honour the children.

The virtual component of Unity Run will be different this year. We will use this virtual Facebook group to host daily giveaways for those who submit kilometers each day but we will not be “hosting” the run virtually as we will be running in-person again this year! The Facebook group will still bring folks together to motivate and encourage each other to participate in walking or running daily, and act as platform for sharing information about the in-person run, as well.

Syilx Nation Members are able to join the 2022 Spirit of Syilx Unity Run Facebook Group here:

2022 Registration:

*Registration not required for virtual run!

Youth Workers Registration – In Person Run:

Family/Individual Registration – In Person Run:


If you are interested in donating to the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run for Suicide and Violence Awareness, please see payment options below:

  • E-transfer to (we are registered as auto-deposit – no password required)
    • Please include a note for your e-transfer in the message box stating “Unity Run 2022”
  • Cheques payable to “Okanagan Nation Alliance” (please see mailing address below)
    • Please include a note of your cheque in the memo box stating “Unity Run 2022”
  • Cash donations can be dropped off at our main office

Mailing Address: 101-3535 Old Okanagan Hwy, Westbank BC V4T 3L7

Unity Run Schedule 2022


Early Years Gathering

November 18th, 2016

I? scmala?tet

The Early Years Gathering provides opportunity for Aboriginal Early Childhood professionals to engage in a manner that can contribute to capacity building and resource development through a process that draws on the wisdom and experience of the attending staff, managers and parents. This annual two day training fulfills the Professional Development requirements of frontline Early Childhood Development staff in a manner that is grounded in Syilx values and practices.

A Time of Sharing and Caring.

This year’s Early Years Gathering will be virtual and will highlight available Indigenous and Syilx Okanagan supports, trainings, and resources. Some of these include:
– ONA Early Years support HUB
– BC Aboriginal Child Care Society Program and resources
– Returning Children to the Centre: a Syilx Parenting curriculum
– Michelle Joe Syilx Okanagan curriculum creations
– ONA’s Developmental Stages poster

The Early Years Program provides support for Early Years centres, daycares, workers, and children and families through cultural resources, trainings, programs and workshops.

This event is subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.


Early Years Gathering Poster

Sockeye Fry Release

November 18th, 2016

Kł cp’elk’ stim’

This ceremonial release of Okanagan Sockeye fry takes place by members of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and over 430 students from local schools so that kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ (cause to come back) will continue. These fry have been raised as part of Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Fish in Schools Program along with fry from the hatchery. ntyitix (salmon) is central to the Syilx Okanagan peoples creation stories and through our captikwl (oral history), passed down through generations; it is our responsibility to be stewards of our lands and waters. These ceremonies with our language, songs and prayers are an integral part of the work that we continue, to ensure our efforts to revitalize our culture. For thousands of years these ceremonies and customs have been brought forward for our children.

Everyone is welcome to attend and participate.


Elders and Youth Gathering

November 18th, 2016

Way p inłaxexłxap uł iʔspepleltet uł stakwilxtet

The Elder and Youth Gathering is held annually as a platform for relationship building, knowledge transfer and nation building between our elders and youth. The participants come from each of the bands to a new part of our territory each year to become more familiar with the land and learn from each other. This event started as a way to facilitate these goals as well as to gather input from youth and elders on creating strategies to help bridge any gaps between the two groups.

This event takes place over the weekend which includes workshops, keynote addresses, crafts and activities that are geared towards a theme of connecting all the participants together. Having an outdoor activity on the land is an important aspect of the event which connects the youth and elders to the land through stories and language.

All accommodations and meals are covered for this free event. Carpooling to this event is greatly suggested and transportation should be organized with your band’s Elder/Youth Worker. Registration is a must for space, accommodation and meal counts.

Syilx Water Forum

November 18th, 2016

Honouring our siwɬkʷ

The Water Forum is an annual event hosted by the ONA Natural Resources Department that works to promote and create public awareness of Syilx Okanagan People and their sacred connection to siwɬkʷ.  One of the main goals of the Water Strategy is to improve the way water is managed within Syilx Territory and ensure that clean, flowing water is properly respected and available for all living things. Each year of the Water Forum focuses on a different area within Syilx Okanagan Territory and the water in that area, as well as different topics to focus on each year.  The event brings together Syilx Okanagan Nation members, community members, local partners and organizations, and leadership. The event is held on World Water Day, March 22, each year.

This years 8th annual Water Forum will explore how the Syilx Okanagan Nation holds up siwɬkʷ as a living relative.  There will be a keynote presentation from a Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui representative on I am the River, and the River is me: Legal personhood and emerging rights of nature. Their efforts to get the Whanganui River recognized as a living entity. There will also be a panel discussion on understanding water in the Okanagan. How do we protect the water and what collective actions we can take. We are asking everyone who can to go to the shores of kɬúsx̌nítkʷ at 2:30pm to offer prayers and gratitude for siwɬkʷ.

ks͜ kəɬqayxʷntim iʔ siwɬkʷ – We will protect the water.

Forum is virtual and registration is free and open to everyone

Syilx Water Forum - poster
2022 Syilx Water Forum Agenda

Penticton Water Prayers Ceremony Poster
Vernon Water Prayers Ceremony Poster
Westbank Water Prayers Ceremony Poster