Lake Country Mayor James Baker is the first to cut the ribbon on the Pelmewash Parkway on a sunny afternoon in June. (David Venn - Calendar Staff)

Pelmewash Parkway opening is the latest milestone in First Nations-government relations

Lake Country officially opens the Pelmewash Parkway with a ceremonial ribbon cutting

Lake Country’s grand opening of the Pelmewash Parkway, which boasts lakefront features such as dog parks, pathways, picnic benches and bike lanes, on Sunday, June 12, was yet another milestone in First Nation and diplomatic relations.

Municipal and provincial government, as well as the Okanagan Indian Band (OIB) attribute the parkway’s execution to the development and extension of Highway 97 — erected between Winfield and Oyama — and the institutional partnerships that have formed between government and First Nations.

READ MORE: Crime increased in almost every statistical category in Lake Country, report shows

READ MORE: Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

“We’re very recent when you consider the ties to the land of the original inhabitants of this area,” Lake Country Mayor James Baker said. “We’re hoping to recognize that as much as we can.”

“I’m quite happy with the relationship we have and that we built over the years,” OIB Chief Byron Louis said.

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick understands that historically, Indigenous-government relations have been all but healthy. However, he said, through the developments such as Pelmewash, amendments can start to be made.

READ MORE: Lake Country councillors want stricter regulations, more signage on smoking in parks

“I have great respect for (First Nations Peoples) and their leaders,” Letnick said. “We all really want what’s the best for our citizens and our citizens are the same people… that’s why working with Chief Byron Louis is so important.”

As Lake Country continues to grow, Louis said First Nations’ role in the process is that much more important.

READ MORE: VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

“You can’t protect the land from the outside, so for us to actually participate — that’s one of the things we are doing,” he said. “Also, (we) are providing knowledge of who we are.”

Lake Country will now focus on the intersection of Beaver Lake and Glenmore Road, while prospecting a set of bike trails and pathways to be located throughout the district, guided by the input of residents and government.

READ MORE: Interior Health and First Nations renew partnership accord

The Okanagan Indian Band is one of the eight Band communities of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. The other member Band communities are Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Penticton Indian Band, Westbank First Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes.

The term “Sqilxw” refers to the Indigenous people whose territory is located in the southern interior of BC and north-central Washington. These people are also known as Okanagan people.

Okanagan is the anglicized version of “Suqnaqinx”.


@davidvenn_
David.venn@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon gym shows heart for North Okanagan Hospice

Iron Heart Gym hosts fundraiser for Hospice and the 2019 Dancing With the Vernon Stars

Spallumcheen golfer collects first-ever ace

Kay Cornish used her trusty 7-iron to score hole-in-one on tough uphill par-3 No. 7 at home course

Okanagan College Vernon campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony on July 16

Lumby Fire Department douses potential wildfire

Site was barely out of their jurisdiction, but department put out fire at request of BC Wildfire

UPDATE: B.C. Hydro explain vandalism that caused Vernon power outage

According to B.C. Hydro, around 2,400 Vernon residents were without power from 4:30- 7 p.m. Monday

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered Kelowna teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Most Read