Band blocks access to area

First Nations are taking action to protect what they believe is land of cultural significance at the north end of Mabel Lake.

First Nations are taking action to protect what they believe is land of cultural significance at the north end of Mabel Lake.

The Splatsin First Nation has erected fence posts to limit access to nine acres at the mouth of the Shuswap River. The Regional District of North Okanagan is seeking provincial approval to use the site for permanent parking for boaters and residents in the area.

“There is a spiritual connection,” said Chief Wayne Christian of a historic village there.

“We need to protect that area because there are probably burial sites around there.”

Christian says the band will not tolerate any development of the nine acres.

“It (issue) is resolved. We have ownership. We aren’t looking to turn it over to anyone,” he said.

Beyond a fence, the band has no other actions planned to reinforce its position.

Half of the property is cleared of trees for parking.

“We have used it for many years but we don’t have title,” said Herman Halvorson, RDNO chairperson.

He says RDNO has been negotiating with the Splatsin and he isn’t sure how the band’s fence will impact discussions.

“It’s a process and we will have to deal with it,” said Halvorson.

“I don’t believe the regional district has done anything wrong. We’ve been talking to them in good faith.”

Besides providing parking for boaters, Halvorson says the site is used for parking by residents living on the west side of Mabel Lake.

“I would like to get this resolved. The property is well used,” he said.

The Splatsin claim the significance of the Mabel Lake area has been ignored for decades, whether it was logging in the 1890s or a golf resort in the 1990s.

Christian insists the provincial government does not have the authority to grant land to RDNO.

“The provincial government has a legal position of denial,” he said of aboriginal title and rights.

“They continue to say we don’t exist and we are saying yes we do. We have never ceded or sold any of our territory.”



Just Posted

Business savy volunteers sought in North Okanagan

Community Futures looking for members to join advisory panel, board and loans committee

New Vernon resident building skills and community

The Respect Works Here November Multicultural Community Champion

Handwritten notes from ‘Sean’ not a scam or illegal

Notes appearing in mailboxes across Vernon and Shuswap a marketing ploy

Vernon-based Tolko shuts BC divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

SilverStar to open Nordic trails this weekend

25 km of groomed trails are ready to explore by cross-country skiers

VIDEO: Kelowna brew pub opens new tasting room

Dan Taylor takes a tour of BNA’s renovated tasting room

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Malakwa woman still in the running for winning American baking show

Janet Letendre is the only Canadian competing on the Holiday Baking Championship

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Salmon Arm businesses tipped off to Black Press advantage

Black Press Media hosts day of presentations for local business representatives

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read