Cattle graze at Kilpoola Lake in the South Okanagan grasslands in the area under consideration for a national park reserve. (Richard McGuire file photo)
A major announcement is coming next week related to the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan.
Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band and Chief Keith Crow of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band are joining the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna on July 2 to “make an announcement on the proposed national park reserve,” states an email from Parks Canada.
• Read more: Parks Canada looking to sign tentative agreement this summer
Parks Canada officials said in May, while conducting public consultation in the South Okanagan, that a memorandum of understanding between the Indigenous leaders, the province and the federal government would likely be signed this summer. The non-binding agreement would not be a decision document, according to Kevin McNamee, director of protected areas establishment for Parks Canada.
“The only decision it would constitute is that the parties are prepared to move forward to negotiate an agreement. So the focus of it could be confirming a working boundary, confirming the next steps,” McNamee said in May.