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February 2022 quarterly WFN business e-newsletter. 
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Congratulations former Chief Robert Louie, 2022 Aboriginal Business Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

 

With great pleasure, Westbank First Nation Chief and Council would like to congratulate former WFN Chief, Robert Louie on being recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) for the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. WFN’s independence and self-governing status is largely attributed to Robert's guidance and WFN will be forever appreciative. 

Robert's past and current involvement on various corporate boards is also recognized by WFN as a tremendous benefit to the community and Westbank economic development. The opportunities available for WFN Members and community continue to grow and we are very thankful for Robert's participation and leadership nurturing our prosperous nation.

The CCAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a First Nation, Inuit, or Métis person whose business leadership has made a substantive contribution to the economic and social well-being of Indigenous people.

Congratulations Robert, what an admirable achievement to receive!

WLFN discovered 93 potential burials at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School grounds

In light of Williams Lake First Nation’s announcement on January 25, 2022 of the discovery of 93 potential burials in their initial findings at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School grounds, Chief and Council extend their deepest grief and condolences to these children and their families.

To our Members, community members, staff members, and all those whose pain has been triggered by these horrendous acts, please know that we stand with you. As Nations continue to work to uncover the truths at residential school sites across Canada, we can take solace in knowing these truths are being confirmed, and that our children today will not have to defend these truths and the intergenerational trauma that continues to affect our communities.

Most importantly, we can take solace knowing that these children can now be honoured through the ceremonies and language that these schools attempted to eradicate. We give thanks to those working tirelessly to assist with the work moving forward.

A 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected 1-866-925-4419.

WFN community forests recognized for leadership and innovation

Westbank First Nation (WFN) and West Boundary Community Forest have received community forest awards and a $10,000 grant each.

Established in 2016, the Robin Hood Memorial Award for Excellence in Community Forestry is given annually to community forests that align with the values of the late Robin Hood, a BC forest pioneer.

WFN was recognized for the planning that would develop a wildfire risk management plan, working with their community on wildfire hazard mitigation while providing a space for WFN members studying forest management to apply their skills. The community forest covers over 46,000 hectares in two parcels – one is just west of West Kelowna and the other is northwest of Big White. Read more.

Westbank First Nation thanks Pine Acres Home staff and partners

WFN announced the planned closure of Pine Acres Home (PAH) in October 2021 due to the result of increased COVID-19 requirements for long-term care facilities, shortages of staff, and the changing landscape of long-term care models across the country. As of December 23, 2021, all residents were successfully transitioned to their new residences and the facility was closed.

“Pine Acres Home was targeted to close January 2022, however thanks to the efforts of our Pine Acres team and Interior Health, all residents were safely transitioned to their homes ahead of schedule and before Christmas”, says WFN Chief Christopher Derickson. “For almost 40 years, we have provided quality care to our Elders and seniors from other communities, and we look forward to working with our Members to identify how we can continue to do so in the future, in new and innovative ways.”

Westbank First Nation Council, Members and community extended their deepest appreciation to the PAH staff who dedicated themselves to providing exceptional care to the residents throughout the years. "Your hard work, commitment and care is what truly made the facility a Home. Limlemt to each and every person who worked at PAH over the past 40 years," continued Chief Derickson.

WFN further raised its hands to Interior Health for assisting in the smooth and comfortable transitions of all PAH residents to their new homes. The health and well-being of residents remained of utmost importance throughout the entire process. Limlemt!
More info on Pine Acres Closure.

WFN Wildfire Mitigation Project

The WFN Wildfire Mitigation Project is nearing 50% completion with 7 out of the 9 area units completed or in progress.The intent of this fuel management prescription is to guide wildfire risk reduction treatments in the Wildland Urban Interface on WFN Community Lands in Tsinstikeptum IR 9 and 10.
 
The work primarily consists of treating potential wildfire fuels by thinning, pruning, pile and burning and/or chip and removal. WFN has contracted the fuel management prescription services work to Ntityix Development Corporation who will be working with subcontractor Tronson Logging to complete the mitigation work. Read more.

Westside wastewater treatment plant receives grant

A grant was recently received to assist in completing a detailed asset management plan for the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The treatment plant receives wastewater from businesses and households (approximately 42,000 people total) in West Kelowna, Peachland and Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10, accumulating an average of 11.7 million litres every day. lim ləmt to the Government of Canada and Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the grant. Info

Welcome OPA! to WFN Business Community

WFN is excited to welcome OPA! of Greece to WFN Lands. The Greek food restaurant chain opened its third Central Okanagan location on WFN Lands last Thursday, January 27.

Check out OPA! Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Snyatan Shopping Centre (located at the corner of Highway 97 and Butt Road)!

Okanagan College supports Gitxaala Nation with vital trades training for economic and cultural growth

In one northern village, Indigenous cultural needs and massive construction projects combined to create demand for specialized Okanagan College Trades training to support community members. Read more.

Local Central Program

lim ləmt to London Drugs for offering their centre aisle shelf space in select stores to local small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 with 100% of sales going back to the business or individual helping customers. Small businesses in Western Canada are welcome to submit products for consideration, including health and wellness companies. “Whether  you  sell  coffee,  local  honey,  or  your  restaurant’s  graphic  T-shirts, London Drugs  is  here to help,” says Clint  Mahlman,  President  and COO. Info

BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference

The Tourism Industry Association of BC and the BC Hotel Association are excited to host the 2nd Annual BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference in Richmond, Mar 9-11, with the theme of ‘kickstarting the comeback’. Register

BCEDA Professional Awards

Nominate or apply by February 28; Awards are presented April 3-5

WFN Economic Development

WFN’s Economic Development supports and readies people or businesses looking to invest in WFN lands, and continues to support the 550 businesses who call WFN home. We’re proud of our strong and diverse business community!

To learn more, contact communications@wfn.ca or
250-769-4999.

WFN Offices will be closed Monday, February 21 for Family Day.

New EDC Member, Phoenix Wilson-Prince

WFN's Economic      Development Commission (EDC) would like to welcome Phoenix Wilson-Prince to the EDC. Pheonix is a WFN Member and representative of WFN’s Youth Council. She is passionate about culture and language including sweats, dancing, and selling her own beading and sewing for regalia, ribbon skirts, shirts and shawls. As a youthful, innovative, and culturally knowledgeable voice, and former barista at Kekuli Café, Phoenix takes pride in sharing with businesses and the public the unique art, culture and language which makes Westbank special. Welcome Phoenix!

Limited visitors to WFN Offices

Due to the recent uptake in COVID-19 cases in the area and the addition of new provincial restrictions, WFN staff will be reducing physical interactions and limiting the number of visitors in our buildings and facilities in an effort to keep our staff and the public safe. Staff will be accessible by phone or email. We encourage the public to reach out through these channels if possible.

Department contact information and additional resources are available on the WFN website.
Read more.

WFN Welcomes New CFO, Jim Bauer

WFN is pleased to announce that in November 2021, Jim Bauer, CPA, CMA, was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer for WFN.

“Westbank First Nation welcomes Mr. Bauer to our Administration and looks forward to working with him to further our Nation’s strategic priorities, including ensuring a responsive, accountable and transparent Government that meet the needs of our growing community,” says Chief Christopher Derickson. Read more.

34th Annual Kelowna Chamber Business Excellence Awards Gala, March 30

In a theme of "Rockin' Resilience" the Kelowna Chamber salutes all Kelowna-area businesses who have 'rolled with the punches' over the past year. Register  

National Indigenous Tourism Conference 2022

Join Indigenous Tourism Canada (ITAC), Mar 8-10, for a focused conversation on how the Indigenous tourism sector reunites and begins to rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19. The theme of the conference is “Building Back Better,” a call to action to operators, funding partners, and industry supporters to join ITAC for a focused conversation on how the Indigenous tourism sector reunites and begins to rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19. Register

COEDC’s Business Continuity Planning resources

With the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, businesses need to develop and update contingency plans to continue operations. Check out the Invest Kelowna templates to help your business develop and update contingency plans to continue operations during COVID-19.

YLW receives $18M in Federal funding for key infrastructure projects and operational support

Congratulations to Sam Samaddar, YLW Airport Director, on recently being announced as Chair of the Airports Council International of North America (ACI-NA), and for the much needed funding announced last week to support the airport and our growing communities.

Canada Temporarily Expands Access to Lockdown Program and Worker Lockdown Benefit

The benefit is available until May 7, 2022, and provides income support of $300 per week to workers whose employment is interrupted as a result of a specific government-imposed. Info

BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund 2022

A 3 Million Dollar Fund has been put together to provide non-repayable grant contributions of up to $20,000 to Indigenous tourism businesses in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Read more.

BC Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund
 Read more & apply

BC Paid Sick Leave Now in Effect

COVID-19 BC Closure Relief Grant

Businesses who have been ordered to close to help stop the rapid spread of Omicron can now apply to receive up to $10,000 through the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant. The grant can be used to cover expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. Eligible businesses may include:

  • Gyms, fitness and adult dance studios
  • Bars, lounges and nightclubs that do not serve full meals
  • Event venues that can no longer hold events

Learn more.

ETSI's new Regional Data Platform launched

To support Southern Interior communities and Regional Districts, the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) recently launched a new data visualization tool which features key economic data for each of the nine Regional Districts. Info

OKGN Angel Summit

Accelerate Okanagan is excited to be currently hosting their 4th annual OKGN Angel Summit, which takes place over ten weeks resulting in the pitch of six finalists to an audience of community members. The finale takes place on March 16, where a winner will be chosen to receive an investment of $150,000.

Accelerate Okanagan's one-on-one advisors can help businesses go online or move their business forward. 

WFN Employment Opportunities

  • Out of School Care Supervisor
  • Water & Wastewater Operator III
  • Intergovernmental Researcher
For full list of current opening or to apply, click here.

WFN Directory


Main Reception
250 769 4999

Employment Coordinator
250 768 8281

Health & Wellness
250 768 0227

Youth & Education
250 768 4838

Recreation
250 768 7337

Utilities
250 707 3332

Public Works
250 707 0493

Law Enforcement
250 717 6147

Museum
778 755 2787
Full Directory
WFN Economic Development Commission (EDC)

Kelsey McLeod, Chairperson
Angie Derrickson, Vice Chair
Jennifer Money
Lisa Pastro
Phoenix Wilson-Prince
Domenic Rampone
Steven Money

View Commissioner profiles >

WFN EDC Mission: Assist & facilitate Chief & Council, and the WFN business community, to create a healthy, environmentally sustainable & dynamic economy based on values of self-reliance. 
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301 - 515 Hwy 97S, Kelowna, BC V1Z 3J2

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Westbank First Nation · 515 Highway 97 South · Kelowna, BC V1Z 3J2 · Canada

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