Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band had words of praise for the consultation between her people and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on an ongoing highway project. (Black Press file photo)

Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band had words of praise for the consultation between her people and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on an ongoing highway project. (Black Press file photo)

Collaboration on Shuswap highway project receives national award

Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson says expansion will open new economic opportunities for the band

Collaborative efforts between the Neskonlith Indian Band and the province in relation to highway upgrade projects that run through two areas of Neskonlith land have not gone unnoticed.

The projects and related engagement between the Nekonlith and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are being celebrated with a Marketing Canada Award by the Economic Developers Association of Canada. The national awards recognize excellence in in marketing and community initiatives in economic development.

Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson expressed her appreciation for the ministry’s willingness to collaborate on the design of the highway with the Neskonlith community. She said the highway expansion will open up new economic opportunities for the band and help the economy across the region. She also sees it as crucial for improving the safety of Neskonlith community members while also preserving the culturally and environmentally sensitive territory it runs through.

A Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure representative confirmed the award applies to the four-laning projects which run through Neskonlith IR #2 west of Chase, and IR #3 near Salmon Arm. The award recognizes what was achieved by consulting with Neskonlith on early conceptual designs of the project, but the ministry representative said they continue to collaborate with Neskonlith on other aspects of the four-laning projects.

Read More: Colours on COVID-19 map getting lighter for North Okanagan-Shuswap

Read More: Update: Fire at North Okanagan-Shuswap cannabis grow operation not suspicious

Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, echoed Wilson’s satisfaction with the engagement process on the highway project. He said it resulted in an innovative outcome despite encountering some technical challenges.

According to a statement from the ministry, the provincial and federal governments followed a process based on Neskonlith’s traditional ways of making decisions. The Neskonlith chief and council made it clear from the start of the project that they wanted to integrate traditional culture and language, and ensure decisions came from members of their community. To that end, local elders were consulted and research was done into Secwépemc tradition and law. Whenever possible, words, phrases and processes from the Secwépemc language were included in project materials.

Read More: Feds get another month to reform assisted-dying law as bill stalls in the Commons

Read More: Province gets behind new washroom, concession for Sicamous Beach Park

The statement from the ministry noted the EDAC award is a testament to the power of First Nations and governments rethinking how they work together.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

infrastructure

Just Posted

Armstrong Regional Co-op board members Brett Kirkpatrick (left) and Robbie Hoyte (right) flank Scott John of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society. The co-op donated $2,500 to the society for its Save the Towne Theatre campaign. (ARC photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap cooperative contributes to Vernon theatre campaign

Armstrong Regional Co-op kicks in $2,500 for Okanagan Screen Arts Society’s Save the Towne Theatre campaign

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue at Sicamous beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

A young Sicamous Canada Day parade-goer is awed by a colourful float filled with beloved Disney characters during the July 1, 2020 community event. (File photo)
Editorial: Now is the time for Sicamous to shine

Shuswap community might be just what people who work from home are looking for

Greyhound Canada announced May 13 it was closing operations permanently after more than a century of operation. (Black Press file photo)
COLUMN: Goodbye to a never forgotten friend

Greyhound bus trips played a big role in columnist’s life

Someone or something is vandalizing birdhouses built and erected along Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail, much to the chagrin of a Shuswap biologist who looks after the houses. All but one of 32 along the trail are occupied. (Facebook photo)
Ongoing birdhouse vandalism rocks Shuswap trail, groups

Eight more boxes were destroyed Saturday, May 15

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

File photo (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Overturned kayak in Kelowna creek prompts police response

Kelowna RCMP is looking to speak with anyone who may know the individual associated with the kayak

Penticton city parks staff were busy this week using the beach grater to sift through sand, getting the shores ready for beach season. When it comes to beach clean up they are collecting run-off debris, pulling weeds and picking up litter. (Penticton photo)
Hottest day of the year, so far, in the South Okanagan

Penticton city park staff cleaned up the beaches getting ready for the season

This is what the glowing boulders look like at night at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in the Okanagan

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

Coldstream Fire Department is on-scene Sunday, May 16, battling a fire in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Okanagan fire crew tackles orchard blaze

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the Coldstream firehall on Aberdeen Road

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Search continues for diver who went missing in Okanagan Lake

Emergency crews continue to search for the 52-year-old who didn’t resurface Saturday

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

Most Read