Okanagan Nation Alliance will be hosting 3 Captikʷl Stories Forums this year, in partnership with the Enowkin 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.
Stories Forum 1 December 9th : Syilx Way of Living, hosted by Mental Wellbeing Team.
Stories Forum 2 January 15th : Syilx Family Connection, hosted by Family Decision Making Team.
Stories Forum 3 February 12th : Syilx Family Roles, Responsibilities & Rights, hosted by Child & Family Team.
Stories Forum 4 March 19th: Syilx Children & Family – Ensuring the Well-Being of Children
Stories Forum 5 March 26th: Syilx Connection to Water – Columbia River
Open to Syilx Nation Members only!
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
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 responsibilties, and connect with one another.
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 and community members only.
Nation Drug Forum Save the Date
Nation Drug Forum Agenda
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 is aligns with YES program deliverables and the need for women’s programming.
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 is aligns with YES program deliverables and the need for men’s programming.
Join our celebration and honor the sacredness of the River
It is one of the goals of the Syilx (Okanagan) Nation to carry on the work of the peoples 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: traditional performances and ceremonies, a canoe paddle, stick game tournament, and on the final day (Sunday) a salmon feast and ceremony for snxa?l’iwlem (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 a 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.
Every year ONA commissions a Syilx artist to produce the artwork for the Salmon Feast Poster. To see the beautiful variety of these artworks please see the Salmon Feast Artwork Gallery below:
skc exwexwipla/ Uł stełtalt
The Annual General Assembly takes place each summer, along with the Youth Leadership Gathering. 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.
Honoring Our Ancestors & Praying for the Salmon
We honor our ancestors with this annual ceremony in which we gather in two separate locations along the Columbia River to help pray for the return of the salmon, one on the United States side and one on the Canadian side. This two-day event starts at Kettle Falls, Washington which is organized by the Inchelium Language House Association and with the next day taking place in Castlegar, BC. 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.
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 years of age, 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.
In 2020, the ONA hosted their first virtual Unity Run due to social distancing and isolation precautions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.