Justen Peters, of the Okanagan Indian Band, will work with the Vernon Winter Carnival Society for the next three months on a project that will see the integration of Syilx culture and education into the events for the 61st annual February carnival. (Facebook)

Spotlight on Syilx culture in new Vernon Winter Carnival project

Grant funds launch new project, provides skills training for Indigenous youth

Planning for Vernon’s Wild West-themed Winter Carnival is well underway and thanks to a provincial grant, a local Indigenous youth will be able to shine a spotlight on Syilx culture and education in this years’ events.

Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) member Justen Peters has been hired on to lead the direction of the project which will bring Syilx culture, history and peoples to the forefront of a new carnival event.

This position was made possible by support from the province and Community Workforce Response Grant (CWRG) along with support from the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), Vernon Winter Carnival Society (VWCS).

Peters, who is part of the BC Assembly of First Nations, serving as a Male Youth Representative providing the youth perspective on issues such as economic development, government and environmental policies, is also an appointed member of the OKIB’s new Youth Council. He will work alongside the VWCS for the next three months gaining on-the-job experience in project management and more.

“We’re thrilled to have Justen join our team for the next three months,” Proulx said. “I’m excited to teach him on the job skills in event management and community outreach, however this project is as much of a learning experience for us as it will be for Justen.”

In working closely with the OKIB Elders and members, the VWCS said its looking forward to making positive steps toward reconciliation in the promotion and celebration of the Syilx community with the citizens of Vernon and beyond.

“This opportunity will further increase job skills and knowledge to empower Syilx youth to become self-reliant and self-sufficient,” OKIB executive director Victor Rumbolt said.

“We continue to seek further opportunities to strengthen the foundations of community-to-community engagement while creating the platform for positive role modelling for future youth ambassadors.”

The CWRG program, funded by the federal government through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement, provides $10 million a year in funding for communities to support in-demand skills training leading to secure and sustainable employment for unemployed and part-time, seasonal or casual employees of British Columbia.

The Youth Community Partnership Stream of the program is designed to support communities and youth affected by COVID-19. Through the funding, youth are presented with opportunities to contribute to their community while gaining work-related skills and experience for their resumes.

READ MORE: Vernon Winter Carnival announces Wild West theme

READ MORE: COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The IIO has concluded its investigation into police's actions in a West Kelowna man's death. (File Photo)
UPDATE: One dead after Highway 97A crash near Armstrong, police watchdog investigating

The crash happened as RCMP attempted to stop an alleged stolen vehicle

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)
‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu, right, and incumbent Liberal Eric Foster went head-to-head in a tight race for the Vernon-Monashee seat in the Legislature. By the night’s end Oct. 24, the results were too close to call and the final count will be dependant on outstanding mail-in ballots. (Contributed)
Too close to call in Vernon-Monashee race

Incumbent Foster holds slim lead over NDP Sandhu, mail-in ballots still to come

Advance polling saw nearly 10,000 votes cast in Vernon-Monashee. Pictured: Schubert Centre. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
BC VOTES 2020: Live results roll in for Vernon-Monashee race

That’s a wrap on voting in the provincial 2020 election

BC Liberal Party Shuswap candidate Greg Kyllo and wife Georgina celebrate another successful campaign, with preliminary results for the 42nd provincial general election showing Greg winning the riding with a comfortable majority. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap’s Greg Kyllo faces third term and BC NDP majority

BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren celebrates party’s success

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
One case of COVID-19 identified at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health will follow up directly with those who may have been exposed to the virus

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read