Penticton Indian Band says it is committed to keeping a portion of the South Okanagan Lakefront property in its normal state.
On Saturday, the band released a press release saying it did not agree to the creation of Sickle Point.
The 4.8-acre site with Lake Scaha has been in the news recently, with a grassroots protection group and the regional district trying to protect it as wetlands.
The public is largely rejecting the loan request for the purchase of Sickle Point
The property is sold in advance, and conservationists want to protect important habitats where the species is endangered.
A $ 2.5 million deal was reached between the landowner, the regional district of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and the group, but the public rejected a regional request to borrow money to complete the transaction.
The RDOS said it would discuss its next steps at the February 18 board meeting.
Meanwhile, the Penticton Indian Band says Sickle Point has been used by tribal people for hundreds of generations.
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In a press release, PIP Councilor Timothy Lessard said that the place name for Encyclopaedia of Sickle Point is Ncaqeq-iwltn (pronounced: n-suck-ul-kay-ul-tn).
“It was a place to land or park a canoe, which was used by our people as a camp and rest area,” Lessard said.
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The PIB says it will continue to meet with RDOS, local stakeholders and provincial and federal officials to reaffirm its position that there is no growth at Sick Point.
“For generations, provincial and federal governments have allowed our land to be sold and relocated, and our community has benefited by developing our land without meaningful advice or permission,” said PIP President Greg Gabriel.
The Sickle Point line divides the community into Calcutta, BC
“We have never agreed to convert our unprecedented lands into Silks Nation boundaries.”
BC Gabriel said the PIP had met with Environment Minister George Heman to discuss the removal of Sequel Point as a simple landfill and the return of the parcel to the Penticton Indian Band.
“The PIB is our right and responsibility at all times to protect and safeguard (the Sick Point) in accordance with Silks Nation policies and practices for the benefit of all.”
Sickle Point supporters continue to struggle
In related news, the PIP said it was pleased with the decision of the Pentagon City Council not to hear the restructuring application related to neighborhood development above the Narmada bench.
Canadian Horizons, a Surrey-based real estate company, has proposed a single-family subdivision on 163 acres on 1050 Spiller Road.
However, the plan was opposed by local farmers, residents and the Pentagon Indian Band, which eventually did not proceed with the council’s first reading.
“We are pleased that the Pentagon City Council has not approved the restructuring application submitted by Canadian Horizons,” Gabriel said.
“The proposed development is located in an area of importance to our people and our elk and deer herds, which continue to decline as the use of rural Silks Nation lands and resources increases.”
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