Cultural Centre Adjacent to Rail Trail
Lake Country has received funding for an Indigenous Cultural Centre and Nature Park. The Government of Canada along with the Government of British Columbia will be contributing $1,600,000 and $1,333,200 respectively, towards the construction of the Indigenous Cultural Centre and Nature Park in Lake Country.
The facility will be a collaboration between Okanagan Indian Band and the District of Lake Country with a total cost of $4 million. The Indigenous Cultural Centre and Nature Park will be built to meet the British Columbia Energy Step Code and will provide a local facility that will enhance and celebrate Okanagan Indian Band culture, history and language. The centre will contribute to promoting tourism as well as further understanding of the traditional and continued land use of the Syilx Okanagan people.
OKIB Chief, Chief Byron Louis, says, “We are very pleased to hear that funding has been confirmed for the Lake Country Indigenous Cultural Centre and Nature Park,” said Byron Louis, Chief of the Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon. “The Indigenous Cultural Centre will provide an opportunity for all people to learn about the Okanagan people and our traditions through art. Through understanding, we can build quality relationships and become stronger together.”
It will be constructed adjacent to the Okanagan Rail Trail, a 50 km multimodal trail that will provide connections to other communities to experience the cultural centre and nature park. A new stormwater treatment wetland will also be incorporated into the design which will result in restoration and enhancement of the wetlands and grassland habitat.
Lake Country Mayor James Baker says, “The community of Lake Country is looking forward to this unique partnership with our neighbours Okanagan Indian Band. It is imperative for the entire community to preserve and showcase the culture of the OKIB and this community amenity will facilitate the opportunity to do so. The facility will be built to BC Energy Step Code standards which reinforces our commitment to becoming a greener community. We are extremely appreciative for this investment provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia into our growing community.”
No word yet on a construction time line.