September 4th, 2019

Brittany Mullin

Brittany has completed her Bachelor of Dental Science at UBC Vancouver, and is setting her sights on the next academic endeavor. In September 2019 Brittany will begin a Master’s in Public Health program at The University of Victoria. She wishes to broaden her lens and work more with communities, helping those who may be missed by the system, or do not fit within the framework of the current system. Her long term goals include working to develop a health care system that meets the needs of all Canadians by working with Communities, health authorities, and partaking in research, and advocacy.


“Through my bachelor’s degree experience and my experience with the First Nations Health Authority at the International Indigenous Allied Health Conference, I came to realize the true scope of the health crisis amongst our indigenous populations. They are often unable to access care due to a lack of services in their region, or through unwillingness to access current service due to fear of discrimination and safety. I plan to use my professional designation as my platform by establishing an independent mobile hygienic clinic to work with rural and remote Indigenous communities, offering them oral hygiene services and support that are culturally safe. This will benefit both individuals, and communities but I want to create change on a larger scale still.”


Keianna James

Keianna is a member of the Osoyoos Indian Band, and current student at Thompson River University. She has chosen a path of passion exploring her interest in science. Upon completing her Bachelor of Science in Biology she is looking towards an additional two years of school in the field of Optometry. Keianna has a dream of starting an indigenized Optometry office on Osoyoos Indian Band land with the intention of making eye care more affordable, and comfortable for her community.

“To create and become a positive change in my community and for all indigenous peoples would be and has always been my absolute goal. Indigenous peoples have been growing into strong, beautiful communities, and changing for the better, and this great change needs to continue, so that we can make our ancestors, relatives, people, and family proud. I am honored to be an Okanagan Woman from Osoyoos Indian Band, and I plan on continuing my education to not only improve my life, but also the lives of my community, in the form of health care in optometry.”

BRIDGES Community Feature: Recognition of Success

February 6th, 2019

We would like to recognize BRIDGES participant Tara Stanley,

Wey’ my name is Tara Stanley, my father is Bruce Abel from Westbank First Nation and my mother the late Theresa (Tess) Stanley from Akisq’nuk. My Maternal grandparents are the late Doreen Stanley (?Akisq’nuk) and the late Albert Ignatius (Yaqan Nukiy), my paternal grandparents are Edna Abel (Westbank First Nations) and the late Eddie Kruger (Penticton Indian Band). I was born in Kelowna, BC.  and raised in Westbank, BC.

I first heard about the BRIDGES program when I was in the Active Measures classes with WFN. I signed up for the “Enriching My Life” (youth TEK series) that was held during the summer of 2017, travelling throughout the territory learning about place names, captikwl, plant knowledge and getting to know other nation members.  The BRIDGES program has helped me in so many ways, not only through education but they helped me mentally and spiritually with bringing us (the youth) out on the land to gain knowledge and grow closer with my spirit.

I have taken the entrepreneur step to start an E-juice company with my fiancé Jesse Regan in the summer of 2018. I am currently going to the Okanagan School of Business for my two year diploma to learn more about entrepreneurship. I wear many hats: running a business, going to school full-time, working at Okanagan Nation Alliance in the Natural Resources department (sometimes photographer for events as well), on the WFN Public Arts Committee, the Siya? Celebration committee, a cultural teacher since the age of ten sharing my knowledge of song and dance, and a mother of Trey Stanley who is ten years of age.

BRIDGES has helped me to achieve my goals. When I am finished the BRIDGES program I hope to stay connected with the organization in helping our next generation with knowledge of what is available for them. I highly recommend the BRIDGES program to our future leaders.

BRIDGES Community Feature: Recognition of Success

December 19th, 2018

We would like to recognize BRIDGES participant Taylor Lezard, 

My name is Taylor Lezard, I am from the Penticton Indian Band. An employment goal of mine is to find a career as an esthetician in a high end spa. I am continuously educating myself. I have just completed my esthetics program and am currently finishing off my high school, along with taking an Nsyilxcən language class. I first heard about BRIDGES from Kathy Pierre, the Director of Education for the Penticton Indian Band. The different events and programs BRIDGES has put on have always interested me. I love learning about my culture and community and BRIDGES has provided that. The support I’ve gotten these past few months has helped me a lot while I was completing my post-secondary. Once I’m finished the BRIDGES program I hope to gain enough knowledge and experience to know how to support myself throughout the rest of my life. I would recommend BRIDGES to others.


BRIDGES is available to Syilx unemployed or under-employed aged 15-30 who would benefit from support in their transition into the labor market (i.e., education and training, job shadowing, interships, etc.)


What’s Cookin’

December 11th, 2018

Healthy Schools Cooking in the Classroom update:

Since September 2018, ONA has provided to the Okanagan Schools through the Health Promoting Schools programming. Over 90 students, at 3 schools have had the opportunity to participate in cooking, and enjoying foods based learning at school!

I hope the pictures convey the absolute excitement and joy the kids have cooking at every school!

Jenny Martin, Health Promoting School Coordinator OIB, LSIB, WFN, PIB


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 swiw’s, BC, to commemorate the OKA Run for Peace. The original Run took place in the summer 1990 over six weeks, and saw more than 73 Okanagan Nation members run from Syilx to Kanehsatà:ke territory to show solidarity with the Mohawk resistance to developments on their sacred burial grounds during the Oka Crisis.

Chief Clarence Louie affirmed that “This Commemoration Run is meant to honor and recognize this time Syilx history where the Syilx Nation took a stand for peace and solidarity with the Kahnawá:ke during the Oka Crisis and whereby all Indian Nations continue to do so to protect their lands, peoples and resources”. The same struggles that ignited the 1990 Oka Crisis persist within the Okanagan territory, as Chief Keith Crow states that “it is a disgrace that we have had to wait almost a year and a half, and still we have no resolve on our disturbed ancestral burial grounds”.

These historical acts continue to resonate with the current need to face the challenges imposed on Syilx territory and our member communities and indigenous peoples across Canada. Though the Oka Crisis highlighted the struggles faced by indigenous communities in Canada we continue to demand for the right and responsibility to protect our sacred sites and territories. The nation will welcome Ellen Gabriel, a Kanehsatà:ke Mohawk Territory indigenous human rights activist and a key spokesperson during the Oka Crisis, to the event.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip (ONA Chairman) stated, “the ONA’s 2017 Annual General Assembly provides Syilx people with the opportunity to gather as a Nation, to celebrate the many successes that have taken place for our people over the last year, and reflect on the challenges that we continue to face. With an ambitious political agenda from the Province of BC to fully embrace the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, endorment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and support our ongoing opposition to the Site C dam project, Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal and BC/Petronas’s Lelu Island LNG facility, the coming year will demand that we stand united to ensure that our collective Title and Rights are recognized and respected”.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) was formed in 1981 as the inaugural First Nations government in the Okanagan, which represents the 8 member communities of the Okanagan Nation.

For further information please contact:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

ONA Chair


Tara Montgomery

 ONA Communications Lead

 1-250-707-0095 ext. 120

Okanagan Nation Alliance

101-3500 Old Okanagan Hwy Westbank, BC V4T 3J6: (250) 707-0095 www.syilx.org

Media Advisory