A Letter of Gratitude on Terra Madre Day

February 3rd, 2017

To: The Slow Food Community, here in the Okanagan, across Turtle Island and around the world:

As Terra Madre Day 2016 nears the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) would like to take the opportunity to thank Slow Food Thompson Okanagan, Slow Food Canada, Slow Food Turtle Island and Slow Food International’s continued support in sharing the story of the return our sc’win and advocating for indigenous food sovereignty in general.

At the core of our connection with Slow Food is a set of shared values around the deeper significance of food and food systems, not only for sustenance, but for the well-being and resilience of people, cultures and ecologies. The key tenants of Slow Food “good clean and fair” food resonates with our indigenous perspective and experience, particularly regarding social justice, conviviality and the sacred nature of food that connects all of us. On Terre Madre Day the Syilx Nation acknowledge the importance and significance of this day set aside for reflecting upon our actions. We stand with our sisters and brothers around the world in our hard work advancing food security efforts for our beautiful peoples, beautiful lands, resources, and sacred waters. We look forward to collectively furthering these practices in the year to come.

As we gear up to celebrate Terra Madre Day here in the Okanagan and abroad, we wish to briefly share with you a story that may contribute to the Slow Food theme of “Love the Earth, Defend the Future”. In 2016 around 342,391 Okanagan sockeye returned to the Columbia watershed, three times as many as were originally forecasted. This unexpected bounty was a cause for celebration, and was in deep contrast to the previous year’s fishery closure due to the effects of climate change. This return is deeply connected to our collective cultural ceremonies and prayers, and provides the opportunity to carry out a successful food fishery that put one of our key first foods, sockeye salmon, into thousands of our community member’s homes. Such an experience affirms the “Love (for) the Earth”, and that we must continue to “Defend the Future” for the generations that come ahead. For more information please visit our website or check out the video:

We recognize the importance that advocacy and communication plays in shifting perspectives and attitudes, and greatly appreciate all the opportunities that have been provided by Slow Food over the years. We look forward to continuing to collaborate in future.

Lim ‘limpt


For more information on Slow Food:


For more information on Terra Madre Day:


Official copy of this letter:


Okanagan Nation welcomes Grand Chief Ed John’s report on Aboriginal Child Welfare

February 3rd, 2017

November 23, 2016 

Stq’aˀtxʷ niw’t, Okanagan Nation Territory: The Okanagan Nation Chiefs Executive Council welcomes the much anticipated report from Grand Chief Ed John, Special Advisor on Aboriginal Child Welfare titled Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification – from Root Causes to Root Solutions presented to Premier Clark, Minister Cadieux and Indigenous Leadership on November 21, 2016.

 Unfortunately, our community members have yet to experience the outcomes that would come from implementing the recommendations from countless reports commissioned by the Ministry for Children and Family Development. Despite the enormous investment put into reports, none have effectively reduced the dire statistic of 70% of children who have been removed from their homes for “neglect”.   Clearly, this gives rise to the question, why hasn’t real and effective change occurred?

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip maintains “Poverty kills and neglect is an outcome of the systemic poverty that characterizes too many Aboriginal communities. We are in the best position to keep our children safe. Enough children have been lost, and our children continue to be the most vulnerable from the lack of movement of the Provincial and Federal Governments.”  Reports continue to be mandated without involvement and input from the Nations and communities, yet we are the ones waiting to see critical changes impact the wellbeing of our families.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance calls for immediate action on the Recommendations.   With the roadmap set out by a plethora of reports on Aboriginal Child Welfare in this province, the path is clear.  Recognition, resources and implementing jurisdiction is paramount.  If we are truly in the business of seeing improved outcomes, the actions must follow.

The Okanagan Nation has never relinquished its inherent right and responsibility to ensure the cultural integrity, safety and well-being of all our children and families. Chief Harvey McLeod states, “The longer we talk, the less opportunity we have to make change.” Our Nation will continue to do the necessary work required for our future generations as we continue to witness the detrimental impact the BC Liberal government’s ‘culture of indifference’ on the wellbeing of our children and families.

For More Information Contact:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip,
ONA Chairman
Cell: 250-490-5314

Renowned German Professor, Hartman Lutz at En’owkin Centre on Penticton Reserve

February 3rd, 2017

Hartman Lutz chaired the North American Studies Program at the University of Greifswald until March 2011. He gained his PhD in Philosphy from the University of Tubingen in 1975. Professor Lutz will reflect on his experiences working in Indigenous Studies and speak about and screen his film Trapped in a Human Zoo, a 2016 documentary about how thousands of Indigenous peoples around the world were captured and displayed in human zoos throughout Europe in the 1800s.

This is a free event and open to the public with foods and refreshments served October 6 2016 from 1-4 pm.