Indian Act – 1876

The Constitution Act of 1867 gives Parliament authority over “Indians and lands reserved for the Indians.” The Indian Act, in place since 1876, was passed by Parliament under this authority and sets out the land management responsibilities of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for much of the reserve lands in Canada.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) provides land management services to more than 600 First Nations and covers more than 2,800 reserves with over 3 million hectares of reserve land across Canada. Land management generally includes activities related to the ownership, use and development of land for personal, community and economic purposes.

AANDC personnel carry out provisions of the Indian Act and work with First Nations to:

•Approve the allotment of reserve land to individuals
•Prepare transactions for reserve surrenders and designations
•Manage proposals for additions of land to reserves
•Review and approve transfers of land between band members
•Approve and enforce leases, licenses and permits on reserve lands

First question – how does a band member own land ?

Is owning band land like a non Indian owning non-reserve land ?

If you live in a home but you do not own the home – who insures it ?

If you live in a home but it is not owned by you – do you make payments ?

What happens if it is flooded out or burns down ?

Interesting question leading to a dialogue.

Reserve Land

As identified in the Indian Act, reserve land is “a tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, which has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band”. Reserve lands are different from other land in that:
•Legal title to reserve lands is held by the Crown rather than by individuals or organizations;
•First Nations have a recognized interest in reserve land that includes the right to exclusive use and occupation, inalienability and the communal nature of the interest;
•The land cannot be seized by legal process or be mortgaged or pledged to non-members of a First Nation; and
•The Minister must approve or grant most land transactions under the Indian Act.

Storytime is back

As children aged five and up prepare to head back to school, libraries throughout the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) system are gearing up to begin fall storytimes for the under-five set. And having served as a children’s librarian for almost three decades, the ORL’s Linda Youmans wants parents to understand the many benefits of storytime at the library.

“The live interaction of storytime, where we use songs and puppets and books, is still valid and perhaps even more important in this age of technology. It offers an opportunity to socialize for both children and adults,” Youmans explains. “For many babies it is their first chance to be in a group and they learn to share, have fun and make friends.”

All 29 libraries that comprise the ORL system host storytimes through the school year for children aged five-years and younger. Some larger branches such as Vernon, Kelowna, and Salmon Arm have programs specifically geared for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and many libraries also host special programs for pyjama storytimes in the early evenings, Lego clubs, and grandparents’ storytimes. Instilling a love of reading and literacy, and building a lifelong affinity for the public library, are all goals of these programs.

“Storytime activities such as singing, stretching and rhymes help children learn words and concepts that are the foundation of education,” Youmans adds.

Library programs also give new parents a chance to interact and meet each other, and Youmans knows of cases where mothers have met at baby storytime sessions and are still friends as their children become teenagers.

“Storytimes are one of the few opportunities for men to socialize with other fathers and their children. It can also be a special bonding time between a parent and an older sibling after another baby comes joins the family.”

Fall storytimes at the ORL start during September. All are free and open to the public; some branches require registration due to limited space. To find out about storytime programming at your local library, visit their branch page at, or call the library.

Condolences to the family

bobObituary for the late Robert “Bob”Alexander

June 17, 1942 – August 29, 2015

On Saturday August 29, 2015, Mr. Robert “Bob” Alexander passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Oliver after a courageous battle with cancer at the age of 73 years.

He was predeceased by his father Leslie and his mother Ivy.

Bob will be fondly remembered by his loving family including wife Beverley; son Chad (Krista) and their children Daniel, Parker and Ryleigh, son David and daughter Dawn (Justin) and their son Benjamin.

Bob enjoyed a long career starting out with Revelstoke Building Supply which was sold to Home Hardware (located in Fort St. John, BC) where he was a manager and part owner for thirty eight years. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce.

He loved to travel and enjoyed trips to Disneyland, Mexico, Japan, many more tropical locations and was a “snowbird” in Yuma, AZ for eleven years.

Bob was also very involved in his community. He was a member of the Fort St. John Rotary Club and their student exchange program, North Peace Savings and Credit Union board of directors, was on the strata council and was the garden builder at Casa Rio.

In his spare time, Bob enjoyed walking and hiking, bike riding, fishing, building/creating gardens, reading, sitting in the sun, camping and travelling.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday September 5, 2015 at Valley Congregational Church.

Donations are gratefully accepted for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium, Oliver & Osoyoos.

Pre trial conference set for Robotti family

Roxanne Louie

Roxanne Louie

Thursday afternoon  September 3rd 2pm Courtroom 100 Penticton Law Courts

The last time this Pre-Trial-Conference was scheduled – it had to be delayed with new information on a murder charge being made against Pier Robotti.

His sister Grace earlier charged with 2nd degree murder of Roxanne Louie.

Lawyers state there has been insufficient disclosure of the facts and evidence by the Crown and applications to the court have been made in that regard.

The Crown has stated that a trial is not likely until the spring of next year.

Family and friends of the deceased from both Oliver and Penticton have followed this case very closely.



Earlier: Pier Robotti entered the BC Supreme Court room in orange jail clothing with his ankles in leg-irons

After being arrested Friday August 21, a weekend in jail, charges were read indicating he was now elevated to the same status as his sister Grace – facing a 2nd degree murder indictment.

Bail was granted.

A few words from our local MLA

larsonlindaLinda Larson, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility

“Disability Employment Month is a chance to highlight the resources available to help people with disabilities find employment – and for employers to hire a more diverse workforce. Government offers a range of supports, including assistive technology programs and training and education opportunities for post-secondary students with disabilities.”


Inclusive hiring can help businesses attract and retain skilled employees, and expand their range of customers and clients.

To increase awareness and promote the hiring, inclusion and advancement of people with disabilities in B.C., the Province has proclaimed September 2015 as the second annual Disability Employment Month.

The Province has set a goal to have the highest labour-market participation rate for people with disabilities in B.C. of any province in Canada by 2024. This is one of the goals of Accessibility 2024, government’s 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada.

Throughout September, Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell, along with Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility Linda Larson and partners across government, business and the non-profit sectors, will be promoting the business case for inclusive hiring.

WorkBC Employment Services Centres will be hosting open houses and job fairs to highlight the range of resources available to support disability employment.

British Columbians with disabilities are an important talent pool and potential customer base for B.C. businesses, as the province expects about one million job openings by 2020. About 334,000 British
Columbians aged 15 to 64 years identify as having a disability.

New plan in schools

The world is changing. Technology and innovation are reshaping society. Today’s students need the right skills to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

That is why this fall the B.C. government is kicking off a three-year transition to a new curriculum in B.C. schools that will ensure students learn the basics like reading, writing and arithmetic in a way
that connects them to the collaboration, critical thinking and communications skills they need to thrive in college, university and the work force.

Curriculum is the game plan for teaching – it maps out what teachers teach, and what students are expected to learn. In the first phase of the transition, Kindergarten to Grade 9 teachers will have the chance to use the new curriculum in their classrooms.

Flexible learning is at the heart of the refined approach and it will  help teachers tap into the passions and interests of individual students. Students can learn about core subjects while doing projects related to their interests, such as music, hockey, or dinosaurs. There are also more hands-on learning opportunities so students can see how classroom knowledge applies in real life situations.

The curriculum also includes:

* renewed emphasis on environmental sciences;
* Aboriginal perspectives integrated throughout all grade levels;
* the history and ongoing legacy of the residential school system; and
* new content regarding historical experiences of East and South Asian

Dennis bids good bye to South Okanagan

SO Country reporter Dennis Walker with Wilson

SO Country reporter Dennis Walker with Laurie Wilson

A well-known Penticton radio show host will move to Cranbrook. Dennis Walker will be the new morning show host for the new Clear Sky Broadcasting radio station to be launched in the East Kootenay City – while at the same time, his own creation, So Country Internet Radio is expanding!

The So Country team has decided to continue operations out of Penticton’s Adidas Sportsplex with all the regular co-hosts producing shows of their own. Walkers’ voice is not leaving – he will produce weekend and weekday features from his new home in Cranbrook.

In less than 3 years of operation, Walkers’ station has earned and accomplished a lot,

So Country Internet Radio was the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce

dennis sca22Business Excellence Award winner for Community Support in 2013. This past year, So Country was the BCFGA – BC Fruit Growers media award winner for professional reporting of the tree fruit industry. Okanagan Life Magazine named Dennis Walker as one of the “2014 Best of” award winners. Walkers’ pride in what So Country provides for the community shows boldly; in the runnings for these awards he was the only radio personality on the list building his own station as an entrepreneur.

So Country also placed in the top 5 in the Premier’s Choice category at the 2014 BC small business awards. Another top honor included Dennis accepting a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service. Back in 2003, Dennis Walker was Penticton’s man of the year while at that time working for CIGV FM. He was given the honor of emceeing monthly at the Westbank Country Opry, a country music event that is in its 21st year of operations.



Still the essence of hometown radio, you can still listen online to

The event – too many people?

a one two22To me the real story was an old one. Small room large crowd.

About 400 people (Penticton Herald said 1000) were asked to stand in the foyer of the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre for 45 minutes as a small room was being manipulated for maximum exposure and effect.

Yes TV cameras on a raised deck looking at a podium in the middle of the room with cheering crowds behind with signs.a one22

If I had been the fire-marshall I would have shut the event down as way too many people gathered in a very tight space.

It probably worked for the cameras but unsafe with a crowd primarily of party faithful (including the elderly) there to cheer on a future prime minister?

Yes we still have a ballot box to go to in October.

a one three22

The man and the message

credit Dave Whalley

credit Dave Whalley

NDP leader Tom Mulcair flanked by heavy security at Penticton Trade and Convention Centre in picture above.

Mulcair touched on the Oliver fire saying… “Just up the road there are 235 men and women fighting a wildfire that would cover half the area of downtown Vancouver”…. “They need a partner in government that will ensure they have access to proper resources and training.”

Two thirds of working Canadians do not have a workplace pensions stating their are massive job losses as well.” As Prime Minister, “I will get the economy going with investments in transit and infrastructure.”

Promises: funding for disaster relief, tourism, infrastructure and transit as well as lower tax rates for small business and a higher minimum wage. To strengthen the Disaster Financial Assistance Agreements and restore funding to the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program – Immediate action on women’s and aboriginal issues, promising to call an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women within the first 100 days of taking office.

Fall Art Show and Sale

fass fogThe Oliver Community Arts Council is calling for entries for the 2015 Fall Art Show and Sale.

The Show, the 32nd annual, is open to all artisans in the South Okanagan and as far east as Rock Creek, and Keremeos in the west. No theme this year enables all to choose their own favorite subject. All entries must be in by September 11, 2015.

The Show takes place in the Oliver Community Center Hall October 3 and October 4th. The competition awards winners in nine categories: watercolor, oil, acrylic, fibre art, three dimensional, photography, other media, junior artists and “Best of Show”. Artists are able to either sell their pieces or exhibit only.

Check out everything you need to know by downloading the guidelines and entry forms from the website or call Sally at 250-498-0104.

Live Link


To enter the 2015 Fall Art Show and Sale (FASS), click on the links below to download an entry form and the terms and guidelines. These forms are new this year. Please read them over carefully! NO theme for the 2015 show.
FASS 2015 Entry Form
FASS 2015 Terms Guidelines

All the above forms should be returned to the Oliver Community Arts Council, P.O. Box 1711, Oliver BC V0H 1T0 except where listed. All cheques (where required) should be made out to “Oliver Community Arts Council”. Ask for more information about forms at OliverCAC @

Campfires allowed

Effective at noon on Monday, Aug. 31, 205, campfires are once again permitted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

The campfire ban was rescinded due to recent widespread precipitation, which resulted in a decreased risk of wildfires in the region. The fire danger rating is now primarily “low” to “moderate” throughout the fire centre.

Here’s some important campfire safety information:

* Have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available nearby to
properly extinguish your campfire.
* Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.
* Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather
can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible
* You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. This is a
fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have
been removed.
* Never leave a campfire unattended.
* Make sure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes
are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
* People who light campfires are legally responsible for making sure that
they don’t escape. They may be held accountable for damages and fire
suppression costs if their negligence results in a wildfire.

Category 2 and 3 open fires remain prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. These prohibitions include all open fires larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre high, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels.

More entertainment planned in the community park

All summer long a vibrant market and concert series at the Oliver Community Park has been the result of collaboration between Oliver Parks and Recreation and the Oliver Community Arts Council. Crowd numbers have exceeded 300 on some nights and the Fire Service Appreciation Event on August 20 was by far the biggest turnout in the history of the series. The Oliver Community Arts Council did a fantastic job with the Music in the Park this summer and wrapped up their season last week with vintage pop duo “Up the Crick”.

Thursday Sept 3 and Thursday Sept 10, Oliver Parks and Recreation will continue to host the weekly Evening Market featuring local produce and artisan products in the community park from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. Each night will feature live entertainment, guest food trucks and children’s activities.

“We have had a fantastic summer of music and market at the park,” says manager Carol Sheridan, “and with there still being a week before the kids to get back to school and the need for a season wrap-up celebration we have extended the market and music nights for two more weeks.” This is a chance for anyone who hasn’t made it down to the park on Thursdays yet to give it a try and for those who have been coming each week to extend the fun awhile longer.
The entertainment line-up for Sept 3 is a collection of local singer/songwriters Tuson Pearle, Carol Sheridan and Hilary Drummond. The “Samosa Express” food truck out of Penticton will be serving up delicious East Indian dishes. On Sept 10 everyone should ensure they don’t miss Penticton’s dance band “Flashback” who have been playing the hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s to delighted crowds for over 10 years. Pick up Thai tacos or noodles from the “Thai on the Fly” food truck for dinner. Both nights the event will also feature a beer and wine garden as well as inflatables and face painting for the kids.

Rural report with Laird Smith

laird22As a follow-up from last week’s story about the broken tooth, I have good news. I took the broken half with me to the dentist and he cemented it back in, cost me $96.00 in total. It turns out that it was a 3/4 crown. I’m very thankful it cost me so little!

Growing up in Oliver I had the usual run in with injuries but no broken bones until I caught my fingers in a power hacksaw at school, Mr. Borgeault was not impressed! When I was unable to perform the expected tasks in metal work class because of my bandages, Mr. Borgeault terminated me.

I had a minor crash as a teenager with my Honda 90cc motorbike as well as a minor one with my 750cc BMW motorcycle. Auntie Kay tolerated my purchase of the Honda but was scared spit-less when I brought home the BMW. She knew what happens when a young man and a motorcycle come together.

I survived all the nonsense and left it all behind when I left the Valley to seek my fame and fortune. Actually, I left only the motorcycles behind and took the nonsense with me.

Throughout my life, I have had several hernia operations, prostate surgery, several car crashes, but nothing life threatening, until July 12 of this year.

I awakened in the morning lying on my back. My left arm was numb as if I had slept on it. I arose from the bed and removed my mouth guard but spoke as if my mouth guard was still in place.

I thought, am I having a stroke? I tried to shake the numbness out of my arm when Nelly awakened and asked me what was wrong. I told her I thought I was having a stroke, I heard my speech slurring.

I told her we had to go to the hospital. I started to dress but when it came to my shirt my fingers on my left hand wouldn’t clutch the buttons. I got one done up but then couldn’t undo it when I decided to wear a button-less shirt. Finally I got it all organized.

By the time we arrived at the hospital the numbness was fading away and my speech was not slurred anymore. After the paper work was done we sat and waited for 2.5 hours and still saw no doctor. By that time I felt fine. If I did have a stroke nobody seemed worried about it so why should I?

I checked out of the hospital, went home, got organized and went to work. I felt fine at work. The next day, July 13, I would call my doctor and get his opinion.

On Monday I got an appointment right away. “Yes,” the doctor said, “it appears that you have had a TIA which stands for Transient Ischemic Attack. It is the body’s way of warning you that a more serious stroke will be coming if you don’t get treatment.”

The doctor told me I shouldn’t have left the hospital because the next three days are crucial when it comes to strokes. The serious one could come during those three days!

He sent me for tests; blood test, carotid artery test, echo-cardiogram, and a CT scan. He got me started on drugs, low dose aspirin and low dose rosuvastatin. And then he went on vacation, I guess he figured he needed it after he dealt with my nonsense.

The stroke did something to my brain. I became more focused than I’d ever been. The details that used to bother me didn’t, the thought clutter that once bombarded me from past missed opportunities stopped.

I seemed to have more energy too, I wanted to get things done now rather than later as had been my nature. I had moments of euphoria when time seemed to hesitate briefly. Then it was back to reality, to refocus and get on with the job. It was an exciting time for me.

The story doesn’t end here, there is more to come, so I will finish it off next week.

A new team at OES – teaching leadership

take one22

Mrs. Sinclair, Karen Sinclair with a full school term ahead of her as Principal of Oliver Elementary. Joined by Diane Haddow as Vice-Principal.

Karen is an old hand in the Oliver area – here first in 1998. Came from Fort St. John. Diane hails from the coast and started her work teaching in 1992 at Penticton. Her most recent post as teacher of Grade 6 Late French Immersion and Learning Assistance in Summerland. Both ladies have Master Degrees in Education.

Mrs. Sinclair says she has a great team of professionals around her and wants to bring an “aura of positivity” to the school and looks forward to her work with Grade 7 classes in Leadership.

In her office on the wall – a statement of intent “…moving forward with a calm, strong momentum…” in the footsteps of Barton Tumlinson.

New this year: More emphasis on aboriginal education including stories at the Grade 5 level of residential schools. Karen Sinclair says OES has always had a strong Aboriginal Studies program with the assistance of Education Assistant Sam Marsel. Three teachers have attended workshops on curriculum changes says Sinclair. She says a lot of aboriginal history is embed in language studies.

Touching on appropriate dress codes – Mrs. Sinclair says this has never been a serious problem at this level but intermediate students are counselled quickly if anything is evident when a student arrives at school. Sinclair says her professional staff set a high tone of appropriate fashion.

Both of these subjects part of the questioning by the reporter on current education stories.

take two22

SO Chamber has a new manager

Credit Community Futures

Credit Community Futures

Denise Blashko

Training & Project Coordinator at Community Futures in Penticton has been hired as the new Manager of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce with its HQ in Oliver.

Bonnie Dancey was the long standing manager who has taken a new job with the Royal Canadian Legion – in helping branches around the Okanagan-Kootenays.


The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Denise Blashko as Executive Director effective September 4, 2015.

“This is the perfect time for Denise Blashko to become the Chamber’s next Executive Director,” said Chamber President Brian Highley. “Denise brings an ability to build strong community relationships and we’re very excited to have her in this role.”

Blashko replaces Bonnie Dancey, who left the Chamber in June after 11 years as Executive Director.

Most recently Blashko worked as a Community Liaison for Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen.

“I’m very excited to take on this new role,” Blashko said. “I’m looking forward to diving right in to Festival Of The Grape planning, as well as engaging the Chamber membership and helping to provide value to them.” Blashko is planning a relocation to the area from Penticton.


Letter to the editor

tipler blue sky22What a joy to see blue sky with a few clouds, a clear view of the hillsides, vineyards and orchards that have been hidden from view for the last week.  So thankful to live in this beautiful valley – it is why most of us are here.
Clear skies and more rain to help all the firefighters, on the ground or in the air so they can use all their skills to tame the beast.  Come on Mama Nature time for you to co-operate, we need your help.
Carolyn Tipler

2nd visit in 18 months

mulcairNDP leader Tom Mulcair will visit Penticton tonight at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre beginning at 7 p.m.

All are welcome say NDP organizers anticipating a large entourage of national media touring with the leader.

This is Mulcair’s second visit to Penticton in the past 18 months.

All residents can return home – evac order lifted

flax one22

Looking west from Sumac Street (Old Rd Seven)

EVACUATION ORDER rescinded for all areas within Regional District due to Testalinda Creek fire. All residents can return home in Fairview Rd area but remain under Evacuation Alert.

The Evacuation Order has been rescinded for 27 properties or homes in the upper Fairview Road area, west of Oliver. Residents can now go back to their homes and access their properties but these properties remain under Evacuation Alert.

The total number of properties or homes remaining under Evacuation Alert due to the Wildfire has been reduced from 285 to 180 homes.

All homes and properties within the existing Evacuation Alert area north of Testalinda Creek
and west of Oliver still remain under Evacuation Alert.


race three22

1     09:36:30 David MATHESON          Penticton      1/16  Men 40-44     175

Not sure why the long race is treated as a secondary race other than that the professionals went for the $$$ offered in the shorter race.


Valley First Challenge Penticton today crowned two new champions in Victoria BC’s Brent McMahon and Peoria, Illinois’s Jennifer Spieldenner.

The 33rd edition of the long-distance triathlon was held today in Penticton and the surrounding area, over a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21 km run.


Rain is welcome on local fire scene

The Testalinda Creek wildfire near Oliver is now mapped at 4,295 hectares in size.

Site information officer Heather Rice with the B.C. Wildfire Service reports the growth is partly due to increased fire activity on Friday and Saturday as winds picked up, but also because crews have had the chance to “have a more accurate look on the ground and from the air” as smoke conditions have improved.

Rice says the fire was stable overnight, and firefighters’ focus remains the northwest flank, in the Reid Creek area.

There are no changes to evacuation orders in the Fairview Road neighbourhood (Reed Creek) and evacuation alerts for residents to the west and south of the town.

Oliver did not receive as much rain as communities in the Central and North Okanagan, but Rice says “the rain does help a significant amount with dampening forest fuels. The wind in combination sometimes counteracts that, though, as it speeds up drying, but it certainly helps.”

Source: Castanet