The Okanagan Indian Band says it is deeply concerned that a woman walking on Sandy Beach next to Kin Beach was poked by a hypodermic needle she stepped on in the sand last Saturday.
Ashley Irving says she will have to have blood tests for several months to make sure she doesn’t contract an illness like Hep-C or HIV.
In a statement sent to CJIB news, the band says it is currently in discussions with the City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan to implement an Indian Reserve #6 Beach Lands Services Agreement to ensure the entire beachfront adjacent to Kin Beach is maintained to the same standard.
OKIB adds that while the services agreement will not guarantee that these type of incidents will not occur, it should help reduce the risk.
The band goes on to say it believes that social problems in this region are not isolated to specific locations such as Kin and Sandy Beach.
“These problems are becoming prevalent throughout parks in urban areas in Vernon, the Regional District of North Okanagan and beyond.”
OKIB believes additional resources and efforts should be provided for this region to help address some of the social problems and the related adverse effects they are having on local communities.