Okanagan Indian Band and City of Vernon

OKIB and Vernon

OKIB Chief Byron Louis (seated left) and Mayor Akbal Mund, (seated right) finalizing relationship Accord in 2018.


Unique Features of this Partnership

Prior to participating in CEDI, Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and City of Vernon councils gathered annually through the Community to Community Forum (C2C). Since 2017, these communities have formalized their partnership through a joint CEDI Working Group, signed and celebrated a Relationship Accord, and most recently, through a joint strategic plan and the following objectives: strengthen long-term relationship and formalize joint planning processes between Okanagan Indian Band and City of Vernon; celebrate and respect our ancestors and environment through joint cultural, historical and educational initiatives; and, strengthen long-term collaboration on ‘Waterfront Area’ development between City of Vernon, OKIB and CP holders on IR6. OKIB and City of Vernon will participate in CEDI 2017 – 2020

Areas of Collaboration – Joint CED Themes

• Inclusive Land-use and Infrastructure Planning in the Sandy Beach /Kin Beach /Lakeshore Road (or ‘Waterfront Area’)

• Joint Cultural, Historical and Educational Initiatives

• Joint Tourism Initiatives


• Established Terms of Reference (TOR) for the OKIB-Vernon Joint CEDI Working Group
• Joint Workshop to explore each community’s land use plans and jurisdiction, specifically on the waterfront area (April 2018)

• Established a sub-committee to create a Joint Strategic Plan for Waterfront and completed a draft Strategic Plan (July 2018)

• Designed and finalized Relationship Accord between OKIB and City of Vernon (August 2018)

• Celebrated the signing of the Relationship Accord on the shores of Okanagan Lake with both OKIB and City elected councils, Elders, regional dignitaries, and community members (October 2018)

• Joint Workshop to explore potential joint tourism initiatives (December 2018)

• Presented on partnership at several provincial and federal conferences (2018 – 2019)

• Joint Workshop to bring both Councils and senior staff from both communities together to discuss active implementation of the Relationship Accord and short-term joint tourism action items (June 2019)

• Joint Workshop to design a joint strategic plan and annual work plan for their partnership (December 2019)

• Formalized a Joint Annual Work Plan for Okanagan Indian Band – City of Vernon Partnership

• Formalized the Joint Strategic Plan for Okanagan Indian Band – City of Vernon Partnership (2020 – 2025)


In the Media


Why Work Together?

“I am pleased to participate in this important initiative with Mayor Akbal Mund and his council. We recognize by working together on economic development initiatives in our traditional territory, we will have the opportunity to identify some challenges and create strategies to overcome them. The result of these efforts will strengthen our relationship and the regional economy.”

– Chief Byron Louis, OKIB


“I am confident that our common goals for local economic development will foster benefits that will extend to many other aspects of community building. The CEDI program is giving us the framework to work together to achieve strong local results.”

– Councillor Akbal Mund (former Mayor), City of Vernon


Next Steps

This partnership was scheduled to graduate from the CEDI program in April 2020, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, the final CEDI Workshop, community and graduation celebration is postponed. Currently in Stage D: Act of the Stronger Together process, their areas of interest for the coming year include:

• Continue to work collaboratively to implement Joint Strategic Plan

• Continue to work collaboratively to deliver the short-term actions outlined in the Joint Annual Work Plan, including cultural, historical and educational initiatives (informational pamphlets and signage) and joint tourism initiatives.

• To facilitate regular information sharing sessions to communicate openly between OKIB, CP holders on IR6 and City of Vernon on the City of Vernon Waterfront Neighbourhood Plan.

• Continue to honour and live into the Okanagan Indian Band – City of Vernon Relationship Accord



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For More

Marissa Lawrence
Senior Program Officer, Cando
T: (778) 628 2180

Helen Patterson
CEDI Program Manager
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
T. 613-907-6320