The area off Westside Road where the school will be built. Google.

The area off Westside Road where the school will be built. Google.

Okanagan Indian Band envisions a new cultural school space, seeks community input

The new school space will be built on Komasket Park

Athena Bonneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

THE DISCOURSE

The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) is in the beginning stage of designing a new school space to hold their Cultural Immersion School. The band is reaching out to community members to help them develop it.

“There’s definitely a need in the community for a new school space,” says Sandie Derrickson, the OKIB school design coordinator.

“Right now, we’re trying to figure out the design. We are getting input from the community and staff on what they would like to see in the school.”

The building that currently houses the Cultural Immersion School was formerly an Indian Day School.

In addition to residential schools (with the last one closing in 1996), the Canadian government relied on day schools to assimilate Indigenous children. Day schools differed from residential schools, because kids attended during the day, but lived with their families and remained in their communities.

The Cultural Immersion School, which opened in 2006, provides students the opportunity to learn in sqilxʷ cultural and language learning.

OKIB held a Zoom meeting on Dec. 3 to introduce community members to the school design process. Some concerns were raised from older community members regarding the new school, Derrickson says.

“It’s not that they don’t want a school, they want a school, but it has to be run by professional teachers,” she explains. “When they went to school, it was horrendous for them.”

During the two-hour discussion, members also said they would like to see a high school-sized gym, a learning room, more storage space and have the capacity to provide classes up to grade 12 for students.

“There’s definitely a need for a special needs room or a learning room, just to have that separation for the students that need that extra help,” Derrickson says. “When you ask the kids, their biggest dream is a gym.”

The new school space will be built on Komasket Park beside the current school.

“The area they’ve picked is a massive park, it’s beautiful and then the kids will be able to use the arbour and have access to the water,” according to Derrickson.

OKIB wants more community input and support. They plan to meet again in the new year to discuss further.

READ MORE: First Nations reconciliation personified at Okanagan College

READ MORE: Confronting their addictions to make way for healing — a BC love story

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Indigenous

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

Just Posted

Cody Younker, Revelstoke city councillor. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke councillor accused of sexually abusing Langley teen while school chaperone

Lawsuit alleges Cody Younker sexually abused student while volunteering on Langely school trips

Revelstoke doctor Vikki Haines receives a vaccine for COVID-19. (Photo via Facebook)
COVID-19 vaccines come to Revelstoke

The Selkirk Medical Group were the first to announce that team members had been vaccinated

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Earth worms are decomposers. (Photo via Pixabay)
Stoke on Science-The A-Z: D is for decomposers

Jade Harvey-Berrill Stoke on Science Below our feet, currently buried beneath the… Continue reading

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

(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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Most Read