EDITORIAL: Splatsin bring people together

The ceremony was a departure from decades past when non-natives and First Nations didn’t interact much

While the Splatsin Community Centre is impressive, most significant during Saturday’s grand opening was the turnout.

Most of the 600 people in attendance were non-native. Not only were they there to recognize a major milestone among the local First Nation, but an achievement that will have social and economic benefits for the entire region.

The ceremony was a vast departure from decades past when non-native and First Nation communities generally didn’t interact much. It was clear that the Splatsin and their neighbours in Enderby and the surrounding area are moving towards reconciliation and co-operation.

“The facility will empower the people. We need to work together in unity,” said Shane Gottfriedson, B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, during a speech to the crowd.

While it would be easy to focus on the economic development the centre will generate, Enderby Mayor Greg McCune insists the facility can be a focal point for dialogue and addressing critical issues for all residents.

“We have to make sure no one goes hungry and everyone has a safe bed. This will not just be a special building, it will be the heart of our community,” he said.

Splatsin and non-native shared a meal together and they regaled in   Secwepemc (Shuswap) stories and cultural traditions. They laughed, they cheered, they clapped. They became one community during the open house.

But the next step is for all involved, and particularly rank and file citizens, to embrace that spirit during their daily activities.

Wayne Christian, Splatsin chief,  is optimistic about the new facility and its influence in the future.

“It’s a foundation not only for our people but for the region as a whole,” he said.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Greater Vernon senior cycling program wheels into second year

Special ‘trishaws’ saw 500 rides and 4,200 kilometres in debut year

BX Elementary to receive City of Vernon sewer services

Mayor says the school will be required to join the City of Vernon

Big White’s $10-Million housing project helps attract employees

The resort is building four new buildings in Black Forest

A Gardener’s Diary: Prepping seedlings in winter

Before planting seedlings, pots must be scrubbed clean

Vernon gallery hosts Art After Dark

Event hosted by the Vernon Public Art Gallery Friday, Feb. 28

Human rights complaint against Shuswap grocer dismissed

Former Food Network competitor was scheduled to work on her Sabbath

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

UPDATE: Firefighter injured in West Kelowna structure fire

West Kelowna fire crews responded to the blaze at 9:53 p.m. Tuesday

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Most Read