Salmon Arm  

SD 83 board pays tribute to the 215, say shameful past must be taught to present and future generations

'Heavy hearts' for the 215

It was a sombre meeting for School District 83 directors as they paid tribute to the 215 children whose remains were found at the Kamloops residential school in May.

Board chairperson Amanda Krebs started the meeting with a minute of silence to pause and reflect on the "devastation and harm every single residential school in Canada inflicted on Indigenous people.

"It is with heavy hearts that we begin our last board meeting of the school year. We were all saddened with the recent horrific finding of 215 children in an unmarked burial site at a former Kamloops residential school, confirming what we’ve already been told, countless times, by residential school survivors.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc nation and every single person affected. We know that there are likely similar gravesites at every residential school throughout this country.”

Krebs said it is a “shameful past” that has to be acknowledged and taught to present and future generations.

“We cannot change the past, but we are committed to listen learn, and do anything we can to help move forward, in truth and reconciliation. We will strive to ensure that our policies and procedures are not systemically racist; that they lift barriers, rather than create them. It doesn’t seem enough, but for what it’s worth, I am truly sorry,” she said.

Salmon Arm woman running to raise money for friend who lost a leg

On the run for a friend

Kristy Handel is going the distance to help a friend.

Handel plans to run 33 kilometres to help raise funds for Chelaine McInroy, who recently underwent surgery to resolve an infection associated to a 2016 traumatic leg amputation.

To help raise money for her friend, Handel has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $3,000.

“Chelaine has overcome many hurdles in such a short time. She has done so with a constant positive attitude, and an incredibly admirable amount of strength,” Handel said. “She has horses to care for, and other pets that she loves and treats like family. This is not just about Chelaine.”

On June 12, McInroy underwent surgery to resolve the infection, which required the removal of infected bone and tissue, so the prosthetics she needs to walk and continue with her career in training horses will no longer fit.

McInroy specializes in training wild mustangs, and working with abused, abandoned and neglected horses. She coaches riders from beginners to competitors, and is a team roper.

“I can’t think of a more deserving, or kind woman. She needs us to come together to help her with this setback,” said Handel. “I’ve created this fundraiser to help pay for the expenses of the resized and improved prosthetics.

"She has the hugest heart. She is always putting the needs of others above her own, and offering support even when she is struggling herself. She inspires me to always view things through a positive lens, and to be grateful for the small things.”

Handel will begin her run next weekend.

You can't install docks or buoys in Shuswap area lakes without asking first

Don't plop a dock

Sitting on the dock on the bay is a great way to spend a sunny day, but not if you didn't get a permit.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District says you can't plop a dock or swimming platform on area lakes without checking with the CSRD first.

Communications Coordinator Tracy Hughes said it's a constant issue. "This proliferation of docks and bouys being placed in these lakes can become a real safety hazard for people wanting to use the lake. It also can cause issues with areas around the lake simply being clogged up with so many docks and buoys that it is unsightly as well as unsafe."

Even docks 'grandfathered in' before the Lakes Zoning Bylaw No. 900 was adopted in 2012 have to comply if they are replaced or repaired.

The regional district isn't the only level of government you'll have to consult. The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Transport Canada also have rules and regulations concerning docks and buoys and may require permits or agreements with the landowner.

Residents with questions regarding the installation and use of docks, swim platforms, and buoys for a specific property in the CSRD can get more information by emailing [email protected] or calling 250.833.5904. There is also information available on the CSRD website under dock and buoy regulations.

BC Forest Practices Board to audit operations in Selkirk and Okanagan-Shuswap

Forest safety to be audited

B.C.'s Forest Practices Board will audit operations in the Selkirk and Okanagan-Shuswap areas next week.

The board will examine the activities of the BC Timber Sales program and timber-sale licence holders for compliance with provincial regulations.

Areas are chosen randomly each year for audit. Auditors will examine whether timber harvesting, roads, bridges, silviculture, fire-protection activities and associated planning carried out between 2019 and 2021 met requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and Wildfire Act.

The audit will focus on activities managed by the Columbia field team. The majority of the operations are in the Revelstoke and Golden timber supply areas, as well as the Cascadia TSA south of Revelstoke and a small portion in the Okanagan TSA.

Once the audit work is complete, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by its findings will have a chance to respond. The final report and recommendations will then be released to the public and government.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.'s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices.

Shuswap community hit by overnight crime spree

Crime spree in Blind Bay

A mini crime spree hit a small Shuswap community overnight.

Staff Sgt. Scott West with the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment says police received six complaints of theft from vehicles or attempted theft from vehicles in the Blind Bay area last night.

In addition, a vehicle was stolen from the same area.

Items that were stolen include change, electronics, purses, wallets, and other personal items. In one case, tools from a trailer were stolen, says West.

"As is often the case, credit cards and bank cards associated to these thefts have been used in retail stores in Salmon Arm and the Okanagan," he adds.

The culprits are believed to be travelling in the stolen vehicle. A description was not provided, however.

"Investigators are following up on information at this time, but would like to remind the public of the following – Do not leave valuables in your vehicles overnight," says West.

"Lock you vehicle or trailer when not in use."

High-speed internet access coming to Shuswap and Kootenay Lake

High-speed for Shuswap

High-speed internet access is coming to the Shuswap and south end of Kootenay Lake.

"Internet access is so important for people of all ages, whether you're just learning how to use a tablet or have been a computer wizard for decades. Not having a reliable connection in your community can be a major frustration," says Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens' Services.

"Investments in connectivity this year are creating new possibilities for seniors in places like the Shuswap and south Kootenay Lake, where it will soon be easier than ever to video chat with the grandkids and learn about computer literacy."

The Connecting British Columbia program will provide up to $3.07 million to Telus and Swift Internet for four projects to improve the speed and reliability of internet access in communities including Tappen, Bastion Bay, Deep Creek, Annis, Carlin, Balmoral, Bastion Bay and the south Kootenay Lake communities of Sanca, Boswell and Gray Creek.

"Staying connected to others has been especially important during the pandemic, and improved internet connections in rural areas throughout the Shuswap will help more people access services and stay in touch,” said Thomas Briginshaw, the society's executive director.

The program provides grants to internet service providers that help pay for the cost of infrastructure to improve high-speed internet access in rural and Indigenous communities.

Campaign raising money for 18-year old Colby Kalke after horrific car accident

GoFundMe for teen in ICU

A fundraiser has been created in support of an 18-year old Salmon Arm resident who was in a horrific car accident.

Colby Kalke suffered life-threatening injuries in the June 3 crash.

The GoFundMe page says his injuries consist of multiple face and head fractures, a brain bleed, swelling of the brain, pneumothorax, multiple broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, and fluid in the abdomen.

Kalke underwent brain surgery on June 4, and a piece of his skull was removed so his brain can heal.

The GoFundMe campaign was created to “ease some of the financial challenges his family may face” while the young man is hospitalized and in recovery.

In just one day, the campaign reached over $15,000 in donations. As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign had reached $18,000.

“Colby’s dad, Scott, and his sister, Rieley, will be returning to Salmon Arm while Rieley finishes school and they will also be commuting to Kamloops. His mom, Janine, will be in Kamloops full time by Colby’s side,” reads the page.

Kalke is currently in Kamloops in the ICU “with very serious injuries.”

Secwépemc Landmarks project partners install first trailhead post

Marking trails - and history

The Secwépemc Landmarks project has installed its first trailhead post, one of a series of almost 100 that will be installed on trail systems throughout the Shuswap.

Shuswap Middle School hosted an unveiling ceremony on June 1, to mark the beginning of Indigenous Peoples History Month.

Indigenous education workers Theresa Johnson and Kaeli Hawrys, and wood shop teacher Brian Gerbrandt organized the event and hosted carving classes with students.

Youths from Chief Atahm School (Adams Lake Band), Shihiya school (Splatsin), Shuswap Middle School, Jackson, Sullivan, and South Canoe Outdoor schools were involved in carving the posts, under the instruction of Secwépemc storyteller Kenthen Thomas and Secwépemc carvers Hop You and Vern Clemah.

The Shuswap Trail Alliance says the project highlights Secwépemc stories, voices and relationships with the landscape.

The carvings tell the stsptékwle (oral history) of “Coyote and the Salmon,” which Secwépemc storyteller Kenthen Thomas describes as telling the story of how Se?lep (Coyote) brought salmon to the Sxwesméllp (also known as Sxwetsméllp or Salmon Arm) area.

Speakers also honored survivors of the Kamloops Residential School present at the event, and gave a recognition of the collective heaviness from the remains of the 215 children recently found at the site.

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to 2-way traffic after vehicle fire near Chase

Vehicle fire scene cleared

UPDATE: 4:10 p.m.

DriveBC advises the Trans-Canada has returned to two-way traffic at the scene of a vehicle fire near Chase.

The fire reduced the highway to single-lane, alternating traffic since early Monday.

The incident was cleared as of 4 p.m., DriveBC reports.

ORIGINAL: 6:25 a.m.

The Trans-Canada Highway is reduced to single-lane, alternating traffic near Chase after a vehicle fire overnight.

DriveBC first reported the incident about 3:30 a.m.

The fire happened between Arnouse Lane and Little River Bridge, nine kilometres east of Chase, near Squilax.

Emergency vehicles are on scene. Watch for traffic control.

DriveBC is expected to update the situation later this morning.

Life ring stations added to Shuswap beaches in addition to free loaner lifejackets for kids

Beaches made safer

Life preserver stations are popping up at locations across the Shuswap.

The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap station began building 10 life ring stations in March for distribution to area beaches and waterways.

"We hope this goes over well, and we can build more," the rescue group said on its Facebook page.

The life rings have rope attached, so if someone is in trouble in the water, they can be thrown to the swimmer, and they can be pulled to shore, avoiding the need for rescuers to go into the water and put themselves at risk.

Funding for the stations was provided by Transport Canada and the boating safety contribution program.

To request a specific site for a life ring station, email [email protected].

Meanwhile, the station has also restocked its loaner lifejacket stations with children's lifejackets.

Three more and potentially four additional stations are expected to be added this syear.

There are 15 active kiosks, with the most recent one at Bristow Road Park in Celista.

The lifejackets are free to use.

June 5-12 is Water Safety Week in Canada.

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