Okanagan Nation Alliance in partnership with the Penticton Indian Band
Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) formed in 1981 as the inaugural First Nations government in the Okanagan and among other functions, works to provide technical fisheries assistance for the Nation and its eight member communities, including the Penticton Indian Band, and acting as a liaison between federal and provincial fisheries agencies and other non-government organizations.
SnPink’tn (The Penticton Indian Band) represents one of the communities of the Okanagan Nation. SnPink’tn (The Penticton Indian Band) is located on beautiful bench land comprised of three reserves. “We are Syilx who receive our strength from timixw and encompass what is good for our livelihood. We are committed to our language and the teachings of our captiklxw and respect that everyone has value and purpose to come together as one.” (taken from the PIB website).
Trout Creek is the primary water source for the District of Summerland and is the largest community watershed in the Okanagan. The lower reach of Trout Creek was channelized and diked in 1949 and then further in 1973 for flood control. Channelization has rendered the creek less than ideal for fish (especially rainbow trout and sockeye salmon) and has disconnected the creek from the floodplain and degraded riparian habitat.
The overarching goal of nluxʷluxʷɬcwix (Lower Trout) Creek Re-naturalization is to restore the natural form and function of the lower 2km, from canyon to Okanagan Lake:
– restore important functions including flood and drought attenuation, water quality improvement (via sediment capture), habitat structure and nutrient input,
– compliment slide mitigation efforts,
– increase overall habitat quality and quantity for aquatic and terrestrial species, especially salmonids and species at risk,
– use a collaborative, ecosystem-based approach guided by Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and
– enhance public enjoyment of this natural area.
The project in the second year of a 3-year project that was approved by the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Board and $100,370 was allocated from the South Okanagan Conservation Fund in 2023. The South Okanagan Conservation Fund dollars match funding from other sources including from other private grants and foundations. The project is expected to complete by January 31, 2024.