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Okanagan Nation Alliance’s Annual Spirit of Syilx Youth Unity Run

May 10th, 2017

WHAT: The Annual Spirit of Syilx Youth Unity Run will begin at Blanket Creek Provincial Park, heading north to Revelstoke, on to and around BC Hydro’s Mica Dam. In total the Run will go through 309 km of the Okanagan Territory, ending at Martha Creek Provincial Park. We are estimating around 120 Syilx youth to run, and will include a multitude of other participants including Syilx elders, leaders, community members and a range of other participants that wish to contribute to the event.

WHY: This annual event is to raise awareness of Suicide and Mental Health issues confronting our communities. The Syilx Unity Run is to encourage and strengthen healthy lifestyle and living through action, and physical exercise activity, Syilx youth are also provided the opportunity to experience being out on their territory, being together as Nation as a means to address a broad range of community and societal issues from suicide and mental health to cultural rejuvenation and reconnection with nationhood and the land. By utilizing action as a means to engage with youth in the community, ONA has a significant opportunity to reach the ever-growing number of youth among the eight member communities and hearing what issues are important for them.

“The Unity Run emerged from youth requesting to come together and find a way to raise awareness about suicide and violence in their communities and we responded. This action provides the opportunity to unite, get to know other youth from across the Nation, while also experiencing and connecting to different parts of their territory. All of this contributes to building identity and unity amongst our youth, and is often a touchstone for belonging” stated Jennifer Houde, Community, Family, and Youth Health Services Manager, ONA.

The Syilx Spirit of Youth Unity Run is a way to continue to draw attention to these issues within the Nation and region. The run is not only an awareness campaign, but developed as a prevention platform for youth that participate by utilizing the connection to the land, implementation of the Syilx teachings and culture as a means to wellbeing.

WHO: The Syilx Spirit of Youth Unity Run is organized and hosted by the Okanagan Nation Alliance. For further information please visit:

WHEN: May 11-14, 2017

WHERE: The Unity Run starts at Blanket Creek Provincial Park, continuing on for 309 km, and will end at Martha Creek Provincial Park on Lake Revelstoke.

For interviews or additional information please contact:

Dominique Alexis, ONA Event Planner

Tel: 1-250-707-0095 ext. 233