Realizing a Vision for Conservation Through Collaboration

March eNews
With the release of the IPCC Climate Change - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability report last month, we would like to provide updates on OCCP initiatives that are identifying opportunities to increase the capacity of the natural world and our communities to adapt to climate change.
kɬúsx̌nítkw (Okanagan Lake) Responsibility Planning Initiative - Update

The IPCC report released in February 2022 focuses on the altering interactions between climate, ecosystem, and human society. Although the report identifies emerging risks from climate change, ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, it stresses an ever narrowing window of time where we have to react and create opportunities that will lead to a hopeful future. A growing body of research is also showing that Indigenous-managed lands protect higher levels of biodiversity, given the millennia of stewardship and ecological knowledge. The kɬúsx̌nítkw (Okanagan Lake) Responsibility Planning Initiative has worked on the basis of understanding that there's an opportunity to address these emerging risks by creating a collaborative governance approach that has syilx leadership at the forefront.

As part of the initiative's collaborative process, the Okanagan Nation Alliance, UBC and OCCP are currently conducting interviews with syilx leadership and local and provincial representatives and elected officials to identify the contributing factors for the health and degradation of ecosystems in the Okanagan watershed. This engagement process is identifying inclusive governance approaches and actions for stewardship and protection for land and water in the syilx territory. The information gathered from the interviews will help guide the development of a siwɬkʷ (water) responsibility action plan that will be developed later this year with all levels of government.  


To read more about the kɬúsx̌nítkw (Okanagan Lake) Responsibility Planning Initiative & the siwɬkʷ (water) Responsibility Action Plan, access the link below.

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Ecological Connectivity - Initiative

OCCP and Ecoscape Environmental Consulting are working with a 25 member advisory team to develop a 5-Year Habitat Connectivity Action Plan that links and protects ecological corridors from the BC interior into Washington State.  Over the last two months the advisory team's working groups of land securement, land use planning, stewardship,  agriculture, and research completed 8 workshops to identity actions for maintaining habitat connectivity across the landscape and identified the importance of planning for changes in bioclimatic zones from climate change. Okanagan Nation Alliance and OCCP are also developing an ecological framework for the action plan based on syilx traditional use and ecological knowledge. A draft action plan will be presented to local governments and Chief and Council later this year. 

Community Foundation South Okanagan Similkameen 
Next Intake: August 19th, 2022

The Community Foundation provides more than $300,000 in grant money to registered charities in the South Okanagan Similkameen on an annual basis. Registered charities in the South Okanagan Similkameen, as well as some other qualified groups such as municipalities and registered amateur athletic associations, may apply. Click here for more information and how to apply.
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation
Next Intake: Fall 2022


The Land Stewardship Grant provides three years of funding for operations and maintenance activities on lands owned and managed by non-governmental organizations. Funding for this program is provided through an endowment fund provided to HCTF by the Province of British Columbia. Click here for more information and how to apply.



Deadline: March 14th, 2022

The Indigenous Advisor position is rooted in the guiding principles of Truth and Reconciliation as outlined by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. We recognize and respect that the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) lies within the unceded land of the syilx / Okanagan people. We acknowledge that colonialism has significantly impacted Indigenous history and connections to the land. As a Local Government, we are learning and building relationships with the people whose lands we are on.  Click here for more information and how to apply.


Deadline: March 14th, 2022

The associate will support Y2Y’s conservation scientist and the ISC team to conduct, convene, and communicate research within and about the Yellowstone to Yukon region and help to integrate science into management, practice, and policy. Current projects include conservation planning, coexistence, human modification and ecological integrity, connectivity, recreation ecology, the human dimensions of conservation, species at risk (e.g., wolverine, caribou, grizzly bear), and the interface of science and policy. We seek a well-organized, detail-oriented person who takes initiative, works well with others, and feels a deep sense of satisfaction from teamwork. Click here for more information and how to apply.


na̓ʔk̓ʷulamən (what we do): syilx Wellness Practices
Location: VIRTUAL
Date: March 14th, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST

Have you heard of "new" terms like forest bathing and eco-wellness? Are these practices really new, or are these concepts from Indigenous practices (hint: it's the latter). This discussion is led by syilx/Okanagan Elders and knowledge carriers. Click here for more information and how to register for the event.

Syilx Water Forum
Location: VIRTUAL
Date: March 22nd, 2022 10:00AM - 12:30PM PST

The Water Forum is an annual event hosted by the ONA Natural Resources Department that works to promote and create public awareness of Syilx Okanagan People and their sacred connection to siwɬkʷ.  One of the main goals of the Water Strategy is to improve the way water is managed within Syilx Territory and ensure that clean, flowing water is properly respected and available for all living things. Each year of the Water Forum focuses on a different area within Syilx Okanagan Territory and the water in that area, as well as different topics to focus on each year.  The event brings together Syilx Okanagan Nation members, community members, local partners and organizations, and leadership.  Click here for more information and how to register for the event.

na̓ʔk̓ʷulamən (what we do): Traditional syilx Plant Use Walking Tour
Location: Laurel Packinghouse 1304 Ellis Street, Kelowna, BC
Date: April 20th 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm & May 14 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST

The Okanagan is incredibly biodiverse, and the syilx/Okanagan people have deep knowledge of how to use the different plant species for food, medicine, shelter, even natural deodorant! Put on your walking shoes and join us for this always popular outdoor event. Click here for more information and how to register for the event.

If you or your organization has any success stories, upcoming events, or job postings that you would like us to share in upcoming eNews, please reach out to OCCP Project Coordinators Marcello Glo ( or Vanessa Moll (
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Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program · 1450 KLO Rd. · Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4 · Canada

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