A project to improve relations between the City of Vernon and Okanagan Indian Band is into its second year, and showing progress.
The parties formed a partnership last year as part of the Community Economic Development Initiative federal program that provides funding for meetings and workshops.
The city’s economic development manager Kevin Poole says the communities have been working together on joint projects.
“We’re looking at joint land use planning, some potential for shared infrastructure, definitely a lot around the tourism opportunities to increase the Indigenous offerings in the North Okanagan,” Poole tells Beach Radio News.
Poole says the initiative has also led to improved dialogue on emergency planning.
“All of these things that are outside of the economic development realm, but because they’re at a table together on a monthly basis to talk, there is a lot of opportunities from that.”
Poole says the elected officials from the councils meet a couple time a year.
“And they look at essentially how the communities can move forward and realize joint economic success.”
The parties will sign a Relationship Accord Oct 13th at a 10 am ceremony at Kin-Sandy Beach, a recreation area the two communities jointly manage on Lakeshore-Tronson Roads.
“The ceremonial signing of the Relationship Accord recognizes the social, cultural and economic ties that exist between the communities,” says a city news release. “The document provides a vision that celebrates the communities’ collective knowledge with a goal to build a better future for our children and generations to follow.”
Pictured: Kin-Sandy Beach on Okanagan Lake