Investing with Skeetchestn Indian Band

Overview

Region:  Thompson/Okanagan

Nation:  Secwepemc

Since the early 1980s the Band has embarked upon many projects designed to create long term prosperity.

Traditional Secwepemc fisheries has deteriorated over the years. Blasting for the CNR right of way in the Fraser Canyon in 1913 caused a huge slide that devastated the salmon population. Habitat loss by industrial development and pollution, and sports and commercial fishing have compounded the damage. Elders remember a time when barking dogs would alert them to the "fields swimming with fish" as fish would enter irrigation intakes on the Deadman River. Self-imposed conservation closures on the Deadman River have been in place for the last 10 years and a riverbank restoration project was completed by the Band in 1988 funded through Employment and Immigration Canada and the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council. A fish hatchery on the Deadman River was built in 1988 by the Band and the Department of Oceans and Fisheries. The goal to increase the stocks through Band assistance not only rebuilds the fisheries resource but restores a vital component of Skeetchestn history and culture.

Another Band initiative toward future self-reliance has been the development of Quiq'wi'elst (Blackstone) School officially opened in 1996. Its goal is to incorporate a quality education program with Secwepemc language instruction and First Nations awareness at the elementary level. Building confidence of identity in our youth will insure qualified decision making and fiscal responsibility within and outside the community in the future.

Many Skeetchestn band members are involved in the annual rodeos, pow wows, and other social and sporting events. Skeetchestn hosts healing gatherings and living skills workshops as well. The large attendance at these events attest to the organizational skills and dedication of the community. Both social and spiritual well being is promoted by such gatherings.

A co-venture agreement with Chai-Na-Ta for the cultivation of ginseng was signed in 1996. The first 50 of a total of 544 acres of ginseng was seeded in the fall of 1996. There property located by Highway #1 is slated for further ginseng cultivation as well a gas outlet and convenience store has now been established. Further developments may include a cultural interpretive centre, a restaurant, and a trailer park. Profits from these enterprises will go to support perhaps less profitable but culturally significant projects. 

http://www.skeetchestn.ca

Map

Latitude: 50° 48' 58".744 N
Longitude: 120° 57' 17".722 S

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