Coordinator: Glenda Louis
Phone: (250) 558 3706 #214
Cell: (250) 309-0712
Fax: (250) 545 4453
12420 Westside Road
Vernon, BC V1H 2A4
The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) is located in the Northern end of the Okanagan Lake and is home to approximately 1800 Band Members on Approximately 25,000 acres. Most of the “On Reserve” Population of 860 resides on the Okanagan Indian Reserve No. 1, with several families living on Duck Lake IR No. 7 (Winfield), and Priest Valley IR No. 6. Okanagan Indian Reserve Number 1 is approximately 25,000 acres in size and lies along the west arm of Okanagan Lake, and extends to Salmon River to the North. Much of the Reserve is situated on prime agricultural land, which is used in raising crops, mostly alfalfa, for the cattle. Other landowners with property adjacent and along the lake shore, cater to the summer tourist industry by renting cottage properties.
Other more noticeable business on the Okanagan Reserve No. 1 are Nehoot Grocery and Camp Ground, Little Kingdom Grocery (Service Station), Race Trac Gas, and Creek Side Restaurant. These businesses are owned and operated, by individual Band Members. As the Okanagan Indian Band lies along the shores of the Okanagan Lake it is a prime tourist destination and thus these business’ provide great opportunities for summer students to gain valuable work experiences.
Winfield also has numerous registered leases for homes, modular homes, and trailer homes. There are also manufacturing business and business leases such as Abeda Wood Products, Sri Homes, and a Race Trac Gas Service Station.
Of the1800 band members, approximately 181 are between 15-29 and 338 between 30-65 thus we have an “on reserve working population of approximately 519. Our total On Reserve Population is approximately 795. The Employment Training Department maintains a data base with 141, clients that is accessed on very short notice, by the Band’s various departments and to inform persons interested in a specific field.
OTDC in conjunction with Social Development provided many entry level workshops through Okanagan College, and with the new training center it makes it so much more accessible for clients facing travel issues (no public transit). Some of the courses and workshops provided at the training center were:
- ATV Operators training: WHMIS - First Aid level I
- Transportation Endorsement: H2S Alive - Transportation Endorsement
- S-100 Fire Suppression: Confined Space - Social Development Programs & Services
Youth Student Development: The Friends of Fintry is a non profit organization and has recently been providing summer work experience for Youth of the Okanagan Indian Band. The work experience provided by the Friends of Fintry is very meaningful and provides a broad spectrum of experiences, including outdoors when time are not so busy.
Jeremiah Allison and Michael Bonneau - Fintry Staff.
“Under the guidance of Karen Abramsen and Floyd Oppenheimer the Friends of Fintry Provincial Park Society has been very happy to hire a new generation of First Nations People. This year it was our pleasure to have Jeremiah Allison and Michael Bonneau on the Fintry Staff. When they weren’t Landscaping they guided tours and their success is recorded in the Guest Book. There were many rave reviews! The Friends of Fintry hope this partner ship will continue in the years to com. The photo above shows them holding a deed from England dating back to 1451 approximately the year Christopher Columbus was born (Maybe that’s what he was looking for).
The Band also provided work experience for summer students in park maintenance and you may have seen the students working at the Okanagan Nation gathering and around the community.
Cole Alexis, YSD
C.L. Brewer Logging (Human Resource Investment Fund)
This year we had one of the Band Logging Contractor’s participate in a training program accessing E.I reach-back funding. C.L. Brewer Logging trained three people in different fields of the logging operation. The company trained the three participants in bucking, and equipment operation. One of these participants worked in the Okanagan Indian Band’s 2004-2005 Winter works program where he acquired work experience, skill, and training in the operation and maintenance a chainsaw.
CL Brewer Logging - Human Resource Investment Fund
The company is currently expanding and it is expected that the trainees will continue to work with the company and continue to build on their training. Having worked in the logging industry I know how hard and dangerous, but very fulfilling this work can be. Good luck to the participants.