Healing starts with us
Join us for a 2 km Walk for Reconciliation on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation! We will be departing from the Safway Parking lot and making our way to the SIRS Monument outside the Penticton Hatchery on En’owkin Trail.
Please Note: Please attend walk at your own risk, the ONA is not responsible as this is a public event. We will have lunch at the monument but priority will be given to Syilx IRS Survivors, Syilx elders and nation members.
Walk is open to everyone. Remember to wear your orange, blue, or green shirts!
Walk for the Children 2023 (w-Map)
The Syilx Nation would like to invite Syilx Nation members to join us for the xʷəxʷmínaʔ Trout Fishery. We will be fishing for rainbow trout and bull trout and reconnecting with the eastern part of our Syilx Territory.
Fishery will be hosted at the mouth of the Lardeau River at the Trout Lake Recreation Site near Kaslo BC. Fishery to start at sunrise and run throughout the day and weekend.
Open to all Syilx Nation Members | Travel Support Available
The Syilx Nation would like to invite you to join us for a ceremony to honour and pray for styíłc̓aʔ (caribou).
No registration required – see poster for more details!
Honouring styíłc̓aʔ Ceremony
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 community members.
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.
Open to Syilx Nation Members only.
2022-2023 captikwl Forum Posters
Feb 9 – captikwl Forum 3 Poster
Feb 9 – captikwl Forum 3 Agenda
ɬə txətʼntiməlx mnimɬcəlx kʷu ks txətʼntimʼ
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!
The Syilx Indian Residential School (SIRS) Committee at the ONA holds an annual gathering for Syilx Okanagan residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, and other family members to share stories, support each other, and participate in healing together.
Residential schools were extremely disruptive to Syilx Okanagan relationships. Families were separated and roles were forgotten, connections were lost, and sharing of culture between generations was disrupted. This event will be 2 days of working on our relationships with each other and with ourselves. Through various workshops, ceremony, and food, this event will bring survivors and Nation members together to heal and work towards a stronger, healthier Nation.
Open to Syilx Okanagan Nation Members & Community Members
2022 SIRS Gathering Save The Date
2022 SIRS Gathering Agenda
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.
Calling Syilx Grandmothers who are passionate about working with children and families to reclaim and restore Syilx family ways of being.
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
Syilx Grandmothers Gathering Poster 2023
Syilx Grandmothers Gathering Agenda
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.
Mental health, substance use, and human trafficking has been a growing epidemic in the Okanagan region and has directly affected Syilx Nation member communities for too long. Prevention and intervention is the only way to combat this fast growing business and protect Syilx Nation members.
This event is for Syilx Nation members, community members, and community member staff.
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.
skc exwexwipla/ Uł stełtalt
The Annual General Assembly takes place each year, 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.
Due to low registrations, we have cancelled the Syilx Elder Youth Summit for 2023. We will be holding a Syilx Elders Luncheon on Tuesday October 3rd, where we will have lunch and play bingo. If you would like to attend this luncheon, you can indicate that on the elders registration form.
Please find the registration links below:
AGA – Registration: https://forms.gle/Vs7njbiVuemoSjsA9
ELDER FORM – Elder’s Luncheon: https://forms.gle/ApSznC6p4KPBP4yS9
VENDOR – AGA Application: https://forms.gle/MpSirfjWRWdyow1e6
Save The Date AGA 2023
Agenda AGA 2023
Elders Luncheons Poster - Oct 3 2023
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. Everyone is welcome to attend, so please bring your drum and help us pray for the return of the salmon. Registration is not needed.
Kettle Falls Ceremony Location
Castlegar Ceremony Location
Revelstoke Ceremony Location
McIntyre Ceremony Location
Enloe Ceremony Location
*Please Note: Locations may not be exact so please look around for ONA Signage and Vehicles.
We run for our people and our land
The Unity Run emerged in June 2009, as a response to youth requesting to come together and find a way to raise awareness about suicide and violence in their communities. This event allows the ONA to engage with the youth in the community, provides a significant opportunity to reach the ever-growing number of youth among the eight member communities and hearing what issues are important to them. 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (we are registered for auto-deposit – no password required)
- Please include a note for your e-transfer in the message box stating “Donation – Unity Run 2024”
- Cheques payable to “Okanagan Nation Alliance” (please see mailing address below)
- Please include a note of your cheque in the memo box stating “Donation – Unity Run 2024”
- Cash donations can be dropped off at our main office
Mailing Address: 101-3535 Old Okanagan Hwy, Westbank BC V4T 3L7
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.
The Early Years Program provides support for Early Years centres, daycares, workers, and children and families through cultural resources, trainings, programs and workshops.
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. Due to logistics, we ask that all large groups please contact the organizer prior to attending.
Shingle Creek Fry Release Location (by Super Save Gas Penticton)
Lower Vernon Creek Fry Release Location (by Marshall Fields Dog Park)
Six Mile Creek Fry Release Location (by OKIB Fire Hall)
Castlegar Fry Release Location (Millennium Park)
Slocan Fry Release Location
Revelstoke Fry Release Location
Mission Creek Fry Release Location (by Mission Creek Dog Park)
Spallumcheen River Release Location (Cherryville Recreation Site)
OK Falls Release Location (Just past sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ OK Falls Park)
Salmon River Release Location (Tim’s By The River Campsite)
Please Note: Locations may not be exact but ONA Signage and vehicles will be onsite to assist.
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.