The ONA supports the sustainable development of a regional economic fisheries sector, with measures that strengthen competitiveness and add value. This fishery allocates annually- appropriate harvests, respecting community food and social needs, followed by economic opportunities.
As such we recognize the need to diversify and be competitive, so that our goals of incorporating Indigenous and sustainable principles are aligned with our Syilx responsible harvesting practices in the development of a fishery. Since 2011-2012, ONA have been exploring the potential political, economic, and cultural advantages of engaging with certain approaches that will sustain a viable Syilx fishery. These activities are balanced with strategic plans and proposals that support our community’s access and planning, and that will ultimately contribute to feeding the Syilx Nation.
This has extended our uptake of activities of networking with regional, national, and international members, presenting on our trans-boundary fishery work to interested parties, creating media that communicates our initiatives, developing projects that support environmental and economic sustainability, while looking to cultivate alternative markets for niche-based products.
By developing food processing infrastructure we are providing further opportunities for food security to ONA Member Communities and the region in general. In regards to our local Okanagan Select product we want to shorten the supply chain by processing locally and selling directly to food retailers and food service business. This is a key aspect of building a brand that focuses on freshness and the story of origin.
Since 2015 the ONA has initiated the development of a 2500 sq. ft. local cold storage and food hub. Key components for the hub are:
- A front-end counter of 500-1,000 sq.ft.retail space [In development]
- Cold storage of 500-1,000 sq.ft. for Okanagan Select products as well as product stored for local food based companies
- Space for cutting tables of 250 sq. ft
- Office and meeting space of 500 sq. ft.
The cold storage include a walk-in freezer, a walk-in cooler and a plate freezer that can freeze 1,000 sockeye per 8 hr cycle.