Okanagan Indian Band members will defuse old explosives in the Madeline Lake area.

Okanagan Indian Band members will defuse old explosives in the Madeline Lake area.

OKIB cleans up munitions

OKIB Explosives Management partnered with Xtech to submit a bid to locate and remove explosives

The Okanagan Indian Band is stepping up efforts to defuse historic explosives.

The band submitted a joint bid with Xtech Explosive Decontamination to participate in the clean-up of unexploded bombs, mortars, grenades and other munitions from past military training activities at Goose and Madeline lakes.

“Earlier this summer, we announced that nine OKIB members will receive training over the next three years to dispose of the unexploded bombs,” said Chief Byron Louis.

“And this joint partnership is the next step the OKIB is taking to ensure an active leadership role in ridding bombs from our land.”

OKIB’s newly formed company, OKIB Explosives Management, partnered with Xtech to submit a bid to locate and remove explosives at the Madeline Lake Range, 24 kilometres north of Vernon, and the Goose Lake range.

If the joint bid is successful, band members will clean reserve lands for future generations.

Louis added that the training of OKIB members and the formation of the company is evidence that the OKIB wants to restore previously unusable land contaminated by the Department of National Defence.

“This clean-up effort could take decades. We’re showing our commitment to this process and we’re hopeful our partners in Ottawa will match it.”