May 30, 2016 - 9:00 AM
VERNON - After more than a year of planning the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada held a referendum to determine whether the band would extend Round Lake Treatment Centre’s (RLTC) lease for another 35 years. With only 2 years remaining on the current lease, the RLTC needed to extension in order to secure funding to upgrade the facility.
The lease extension was strongly supported by OKIB Chief and Council. As the polls closed at 8:00pm on May 25, just fewer than 300 eligible voters had cast their ballots. Once everything was tallied, 273 voted in favour, 14 voted against and one ballot was spoiled.
With the landslide vote, Chief Byron Louis released the following statement, “Thank you to the OKIB membership for such a solid vote of support. The RLTC has been an integral part of our community and this vote will allow them to continue their healing work for people from across Canada.”
Four information meetings took place to ensure that the OKIB membership were provided with lease details and had opportunity to generate discussion about the impact RLTC has had in the community.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, a current RLTC Board Member, overwhelmed by the show of support from the OKIB community, responded, “Wow. A big Lim Limpt to the good people of OKIB.”
The Round Lake Treatment Centre has been operating on OKIB land since 1979 and employs 25 band members. With success rates of 64% maintaining sobriety, RLTC has had positive impacts on the 11,000 clients who have stepped through their doors. Executive Director, Marlene Isaac sent the following statement, “RLTC would like to thank the Okanagan Indian Band Chief and Council and its membership for their support!”
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016