After a mother grizzly bear and cub were recorded eating garbage on Postill Lake Road near Kelowna on May 11, the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) is calling for the protection of the animals.
In a May 20 statement, the ONA said the ki?lawna? (grizzly bear) is an important element of Syilx creation stories that remind the group of their responsibilities to their land.
“For generations, habitat fragmentation, ecosystem degradation and a number of other factors have contributed to the decline of ki?lawna?,” said ONA. “Their declining population throughout Syilx Okanagan territory demonstrates that the health and security of the landscape is in dire need of protection.”
Additionally, ONA revealed that they are working to document the grizzly bear population in the Syilx Okanagan territory, through a partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Contacts, and Environment Canada and Climate Change.
“ONA leads the recovery of grizzly bears in the North Cascades, one of two critically endangered populations. We are also actively restoring important grizzly bear habitat in the Kettle Granby area, bordering the Okanagan to the southeast,” said ONA.
“Through these monitoring, recovery and restoration initiatives, ONA is working to meet our mandate to recover and protect grizzly bears throughout the region.”