School district leaves Penticton Indian Band out of the loop

Letter prompts Okanagan Skaha School District to cancel plans to hire someone for aboriginal culture program

A strongly worded letter from the Penticton Indian Band has prompted the Okanagan Skaha School District to scuttle a plan to hire someone to expand its aboriginal culture program.

The district advertised the position during the summer, but apparently didn’t speak with the PIB about it.

“As we are considered as the host First Nation community for this area, our concern and disappointment is with the fact that we were never consulted with or included in the development of the cultural position,” band councillor Joseph Pierre wrote in his letter to the school board.

He claims the position was instead developed in consultation with the Ooknakane Friendship Centre, which is “an urban aboriginal organization” that does not speak on behalf of the “original people” of the Syilx Nation.

Further, he writes that agreements between the school district and PIB outline the need for school officials to consult with the band on development and implementation of new programming to increase students’ awareness of its history and culture.

Pierre, who did not respond to a request for comment, noted though that the PIB agrees the new position is “an excellent idea” in principle.

A full review of the district’s aboriginal education program was completed last spring and the position was discussed with PIB education staff and others partner groups during that process, superintendent Wendy Hyer told the school board at its Monday meeting.

Nonetheless, the job posting has been withdrawn “to demonstrate that we do have a clear commitment” to consult with the PIB, Hyer said.


The job will remain in limbo until such time as fuller consultation can take place, which Hyer expects will take “awhile.” But she said she expects the position will be filled by the start of the next school year if the district does indeed decide to repost it. In the meantime, the district will “reassign responsibilities” to others to meet the expected outcomes of the cancelled job.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The proposed Skaha Lake Road housing project will be modelled after the Burdock House on Winnipeg St., said BC Housing.
BC Housing panel peppered with questions about Skaha housing project

Virtual meeting involved questions about crime, level of supports, timelines

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

Landmark Cinemas Penticton was forced to close down when the provincial government ordered all theatres to close when new COVID-19 restrictions were brought in Nov. 19, 2020. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Despite ‘devastating’ losses the show will eventually go on at Penticton theatre

Landmark Cinemas has been offering movie popcorn since having to close in November

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

This is rendering of what the playground of the new provincially funded child care centre could look like on Edmonton Ave.
Public hearing for childcare centre rezoning Feb. 1

The Edmonton Ave. facility would add 116 more childcare spots

Charlotte is one of the resident pigs at Star's Piggly Wiggly's Sanctuary near Kelowna. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-area pig sanctuary needs a new home

Star’s Piggly Wiggly’s Sanctuary is looking for properties in Vernon, Coldstream, and Enderby

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kelowna mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Most Read