Shane Miller at his location on Westside Rd, just off hwy 97 outside of Vernon BC. (Photo by Kelsie Kilawna, Local Journalism Initiative)

Okanagan community lifts up Indigenous food truck dream

BannockSlap Burgers and Indian Tacos opened for business on Labour Day weekend

By Kelsie Kilawna, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse

Hip hop was blasting as Shane Miller, a member of the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), set up his food truck for business on Westside Road. Miller had a steady stream of customers coming to his window asking when he would be open.

“It just took off…more and more people are coming.”

When Miller was interviewed by IndigiNews about his bannock stand in June, he shared his dreams of wanting to buy a food truck by end of the summer — that dream is now a reality.

BannockSlap Burgers and Indian Tacos known formerly as Syilx Sensations opened its window for business on Westside Road for the first time Labour Day weekend.

Comments then quickly began to pour in saying things such as this comment on the Facebook group, Vernon Rant and Rave.

“My daughter is in her absolute glory, loving her Indian taco! The service was amazing, he even gave her a free pop and sweet piece of bannock! 12/10 would recommend! Worth the drive.”

“I wouldn’t be here without the community support, no better feeling than that pride from your community. I wake up every day knowing I’m going to make someone happy,” shares Miller.

Miller is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 6:30 p.m. at the top of Westside Road, just off Highway 97 outside of Vernon. He says it is best to keep an eye on his Facebook group for any updates.

A way up

When Miller was an infant he was taken away from his family as part of the 60’s Scoop, where the federal government mass removed Indigenous children from their families. As a result, Miller grew up with very little.

But as an adult, Miller wanted to take charge of his life. He decided to take the road to sobriety and focus on healing. In doing so, he says he found that he wanted more out of life, and especially wanted to show his kids a better path forward.

This is what empowered him to start this business.

“That’s my goal with my business, .125 that my children.375 see us building a business.”

“Now they won’t have to fight and scrape like I did. Now I’m in a position where I can help.”

Miller says he hopes to see others also creating more businesses from passion in the community.

“We need to see a way up for our people…I want that for our people.”

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