We just discovered this “info” from the Penticton Herald…..
Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie says in an open letter there are still too many unanswered questions about the park proposal for his band or other members of the Okanagan Nation Alliance to endorse the concept.
Louie notes the feasibility study currently underway by the OIB and Lower Similkameen Indian Band is mainly REHASHING a previous study released in 2012.
Louie continues later: “I am in favour of a national park if, and a big if, the feasibility study and negotiating meetings lead to an agreement that covers off the many issues and concerns that Okanagan First Nation people have.”
Those concerns include legal protection of Aboriginal land title, hunting and fishing rights, co-management, jobs and more.
The Okanagan National Alliance, which represents seven First Nations in the region, in 2017 made a tri-partite announcement with the federal and provincial governments to confirm a renewed commitment to establishing a national park in the region.
Louie is among those expected to be present at a public meeting Tuesday evening at 6:30 at the Sonora Centre in Osoyoos organized by the South Okanagan Similkameen Preservation Society.
“An open-mic dialogue will be used to discuss a local referendum, alternative conservation plans for the area and new ideas of what’s best for environment and community,” the group said in a press release.
Parks Canada has already said it won’t send a delegate because it’s gathered all of the public input it needs.
Proposed boundaries for the park could be released this summer, but the area under discussion stretches roughly from Vaseux Lake south to the Canada-U.S. border and west to Keremeos.
Picture of Chief Louie with Environment Minister McKenna