Working Partnerships Advance Protection of ki?lawna? (Grizzly Bear) and Other Threatened Wildlife

January 12th, 2018

Westbank), Syilx Territory: The ONA has been taking action to reduce pressures on ki?lawna? and recover threatened populations. Most recently, in collaboration with ONA, Clayton Lamb at the University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences, released the results of a new study that provides insight on the relationships between ki?lawna? and road density. The results of Lamb’s study provide a scientific foundation for access management and habitat securement for this iconic and culturally significant species in the Kettle Granby region. This information will support similar work in the North Cascades and other threatened populations in the BC Southern Interior.

“Decommissioning roads and securing core habitat and linkage areas is now known to have tangible effects on grizzly bear numbers, which is information that we can apply to support recovery across Syilx Territory and the Province,” states Lisa Wilson, ONA Natural Resource Manager.

For the Syilx people, ki?lawna? is a significant part of our laws and protocols. ki?lawna?, as are other species, is an important part of our creation stories to our people reminding us of our responsibilities to our tmuxlawx (land). The decline of the population demonstrates that the health and security of the landscape is in dire need of protection. For generations, habitat fragmentation, ecosystem degradation and a number of other factors have contributed to the decline of ki?lawna?.

The ONA has also hosted a number of meetings with neighboring First Nations, Conservation Northwest as part of a Joint Nation Grizzly Bear recovery initiative. The group’s main objective is to recover threatened populations of ki?lawna? within our Territories. ONA is excited to seeing the results of positive working partnerships raising the importance of this work to ensure ki?lawna is recovered.

“It is our duty and responsibility to protect and care for the lands that are inhabited by our relations. The Province of British Columbia, Government of Canada, as well as the State of Washington and the United States Government have a fiduciary obligation to protect the Grizzly Bear from potential extinction. The ONA is calling on them to act promptly and effectively to implement cooperative actions for the protection of ki?lawna?.” states Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

For further info contact:
Lisa Wilson, ONA Natural Resources Manager
t: 1.250.707.0095 ext.221 e:

MEDIA RELEASE – Grizzly Bear Reintroduction

To Honor and Educate, Unveiling of Syilx Indian Residential School Monument

November 28th, 2017

snpíntktn (Penticton), Syilx Territory: Today the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) held an official public unveiling ceremony for the new Syilx Indian Residential School monument. This monument is placed where the train and the cattle trucks came to gather Syilx children and take them away to Indian Residential Schools, next to the kł cpə̓ lk) stim̓ […]

Project in Progress: Penticton Channel PIT Array Installation

November 28th, 2017

From November 28-30, 2017, Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) and Penticton Indian Band (PIB) crews will be working together to install four PIT (Passive Integrated Transponders) arrays in the Penticton channel, just north of the former KVR bridge. These arrays are used to record the movement of any PIT tagged fish species that use the channel […]

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Joan Phillip win 2017 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award

November 27th, 2017

Courtesy of the Wilderness Committee VANCOUVER – The Wilderness Committee is awarding the 2017 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award to Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Joan Phillip at the Wilderness Committee’s Annual Open House. They were chosen for their decades of commitment to preserving and protecting lands, waters and the environment for future generations. They have […]

Honouring Syilx Indian Residential School Survivors With Unveiling of Nation Monument

November 24th, 2017

snpíntktn (Penticton), Syilx Territory: On November 28, 2017, the Okanagan Nation Alliance will hold an official public unveiling ceremony for the new Syilx Indian Residential School monument. All Syilx Nation members and the general public are invited to attend this significant ceremony. This monument is dedicated to all Syilx people who went to Indian Residential […]


November 8th, 2017

Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) is pleased to announce that the Syilx Indian Residential Committee have officially selected artist ‘Smoker’ Virgil Marchand to procure the art for the monument. ‘Smoker’, himself a survivor of the Indian Residential School system at St. Mary’s Mission boarding school, will create the art, which will be an essential part of […]


November 2nd, 2017

(Syilx Okanagan Territory/Vernon, BC – November 1, 2017) The Chiefs of the Syilx Okanagan Nation are deeply concerned with the recent developments at Salmon River Road in the North Okanagan given the current status of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (“MMIWG”) in this country. Recently, Syilx Okanagan Nation members have been rallying to bring […]

Working Together to Establish a National Park Reserve in South Okanagan

October 27th, 2017

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA OSOYOOS, BRITISH COLUMBIA – With rolling hills and sweeping valleys, the South Okanagan offers a stunning landscape ranging from near-desert to rich forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir that support an incredible range of rare animals and plants. The South Okanagan is one of Canada’s most unique habitats and […]

De-Normalizing Violence PSA: Casting Call

October 25th, 2017

WHO: Syilx & Non Syilx Actors WHAT: Series of 3 two-minute PSA style videos to introduce the ONA YES Program. For more information on the YES Program please visit: WHEN: Saturday Oct 28 2017, Vernon 10am-12am (maybe Sunday morning) No/low pay but Copy, Credit and Good Food AUDITIONS: Thursday, Oct 26, and Friday, Oct […]

Syilx Indian Residential School Monument Update

October 23rd, 2017

The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), with support from the Wellness Committee, applied to INAC (originally Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada) and was awarded funding in 2012 for Truth & Reconciliation Commemorative (TRC) Project. This project was guided by the former TRC Council of Elders, who represented each member community of the Okanagan Nation. This council […]

kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery Broodstock Update

October 13th, 2017

In 2017 a total run of 25,000-35,000 sc’win (Okanagan sockeye salmon) returned to the fishing grounds. High summer flows provided ideal conditions in suwiw̓s (Osoyoos Lake) and q̓awst’ik’ʷt (Skaha Lake), where salmon held until now when they ready to spawn. This year’s return of sc’win is entirely natural origin, offspring from the 2013 run in […]

Outraged Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunties from the Penticton Indian Band to call Ministry Child & Family Development to Account

October 13th, 2017

Penticton BC – The Penticton Indian Band community members call for the Ministry of Children and Families to recognize and respect the fundamental human Rights of Penticton Indian Band Children and Families. Generations of failed policies and systems have harmed our families and continue to erode critical relationships between MCFD and the Penticton Indian Band […]

“15 Years of Restoring Salmon Habitat in the q̓awsitkʷ (Okanagan River)” Workshop Showcases Restoration Through Collaboration

October 3rd, 2017

snpintktn (Penticton), BC Syilx Territory: On October 3-4, 2017, Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will host a “15 Years of Restoring Salmon Habitat in the q̓awsitkʷ (Okanagan River)” workshop at the En’owkin Centre in snpintktn, BC. Participants to include government representatives from the Department of Fisheries & Oceans(DFO) and the Ministry of Forest, Land and Natural […]

Notice of Opportunity: BRIDGES Youth Advisory Group Open Call

October 2nd, 2017

Syilx Nation youth ages 18-30 committed to creating success and opportunity for other Syilx youth Submissions will be compiled by the BRIDGES team and will select 14 representatives Selected group members will advise on the BRIDGES program, including planning and implementation, and communicating out to the Okanagan Nation membership Time committment: Meet with BRIDGES team […]

Syilx Nation’s Annual General Assembly Commemorates the 1990 Oka Run for Peace

August 16th, 2017

swiw’s (Osoyoos), Syilx Territory, British Columbia: With global political and social turmoil on the rise it has never been more important to have a united voice advocating for peace, justice and human rights. On August 17 as part of the Okanagan Nation’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) a run will take place from chuchuwaya (Hedley) to […]

Information Bulletin: Continuing to Make Their Way Home, Information on 2017 Return of Sockeye Salmon

July 27th, 2017

The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), in collaboration with multiple organizations and agencies, have worked tirelessly to bring sockeye salmon back to the Okanagan region. This program has exceeded expectations, with in some years hundreds of thousands of fish entering the Columbia River system. Though previous years have seen plentiful returns, 2017 will be a below-average […]

Community Fishing Notice: Chinook Head Recovery

July 26th, 2017

CHINOOK FROM WHERE? Middle Shuswap River, including Mable Lake and up to Shuswap Falls HOW TO ENTER/HELP When you catch a Chinook salmon follow the instructions below: 1. Check to see if the adipose fin is missing, if missing, 2. Remove the salmon’s head and put it in a plastic bag. 3. Use a pencil […]

Community Fishing Notice: Salmon Harvest at Middle Shuswap River 2017

July 26th, 2017

What is it? The salmon fishery is open to members of the: Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Okanagan Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian band, Penticton Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band and the Westbank First Nation. All community members are encouraged to harvest fish.   Fraser River Chinook are available for harvest between Mable Lake […]

Syilx Okanagan Nation Welcomes Government of Canada’s Commitment to Recognition Principles

July 21st, 2017

(Syilx Okanagan Territory/Westbank, BC – July 21, 2017): The Okanagan Nation Alliance is pleased to receive the Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples that were released on Friday July 14, 2017. From the Nation’s perspective, these new principles will greatly assist the federal government in its reconciliation mandate and serve as a […]

UPDATED: Wildfire Safety Information Package

July 17th, 2017

July 31 Wildfires Update FireSmart – Evacutation ChecklistWildfires can start easily and spread quickly. Knowing what to do in an emergency is critical to ensuring the health and safety of your community members and protecting your critical infrastructure. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), BC Region, has prepared this information package to help your community […]

ONA Fisheries Summer 2017 Field Work Advisory

July 11th, 2017

Be advised that during the summer months between June and September, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) will be conducting annual research and monitoring along the Okanagan Lake and River system (including connecting lakes and tributaries). Similar to previous years, sampling activities will involve/occur: in-lake and along shore lines at various times during the day/night from […]

Sockeye Tag Recovery Fish Lottery

July 10th, 2017

The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Fisheries Research Team is conducting a 2017 fish behaviour study of Okanagan River Sockeye.  HOW TO ENTER/HELP If you catch a Sockeye salmon in the Okanagan River and Osoyoos Lake, please check to see if the fish has a tag attached under the large top fin or inside the cavity […]

38 Syilx Participants Heading to Toronto to Compete at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games

July 7th, 2017

The Okanagan Nation proudly recognizes the 38 Syilx participants from across the Territory who will be competing in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). All of these competitors demonstrate a high level of dedication and excellence in their sport. They have further exhibited a strong commitment to their participation and representation at NAIG through […]

Communal xᵂminaʔ (Trout) Harvest from Pennask Lake

July 6th, 2017

From June 19 to July 3, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) has Ron Ned (Upper Nicola Band) and Mic Werstuik (Westbank First Nation) to help initiate xᵂminaʔ (trout) harvest in Pennask Lake for communal distribution.  Historically about 45,000-50,000 rainbow trout were harvested yearly from Pennask Lake. This harvest was abruptly stopped in the mid 1920’s with privatization of most of Pennask […]

Removal Recommendations for Flood Prevention Sandbags

June 22nd, 2017

The Provincial Regional Emergency Operation Centre (PREOC) is leading the Province’s recovery actions. The Emergency Management BC’s (EMBC) Interim Provincial of Sandbags Policy, which was distributed to Local Governments (includes local authorities, First Nation communities and their respective Band Councils) on June 17 provides the following information: For the 2017 Runoff Season, sandbag disposal will […]

Happy National Aboriginal Day! Ways to Celebrate

June 21st, 2017

There are many ways to celebrate Syilx pride or show support this National Aboriginal Day. Events and Celebrations include: Okanagan Indian Band: En’owkin Centre: Kelowna Friendship Center:  

Fish Water Management Tool (FWMT) & Okanagan Lake Levels FAQ

June 16th, 2017

It was recently reported that Okanagan Lake water level was not lowered sooner due to the decision to protect fish stocks (Global News, June 9, 2017). Unfortunately this position is out of context and missing key information, particularly in regards to the use of the Fish Water Management Tool in current Okanagan water management. Fish […]

Ceremonies Integral to Returning Salmon to the Columbia Region

June 15th, 2017

Westbank, BC Syilx Okanagan Territory: From June 15-20th, 2017, a series of five Salmon Ceremonies will take place throughout the Columbia Basin. These Salmon Ceremonies empower Syilx Okanagan people throughout the Territory, providing the opportunity to both honor their ancestors and continue to conduct ceremony for the successful return of the salmon. All locations are […]

Okanagan Nation Continue Bringing Home Salmon to Okanagan Lake

June 6th, 2017

Okanagan Nation Territory (Westbank, British Columbia): Starting June 6, 2017, the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓  Hatchery will be providing sockeye salmon fry for releases taking place at 6 Mile Creek, Trout Creek, and Mission Creek. The releases of 230,000 fry are in recognition and celebration of the Syilx peoples’ continued successful efforts […]