The plan is intended to be a living document that can be regularly updated to reflect the community’s changing needs. (File photo)

The plan is intended to be a living document that can be regularly updated to reflect the community’s changing needs. (File photo)

Over 2,000 comments help shape Westbank First Nation community plan

‘The community-engagement process drew out some key items of importance’

It’s a plan that will guide the needs of Westbank First Nations (WFN) membership for generations to come.

After two years of engagement, WFN has approved its Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP).

“The CCP is a plan for WFN members, by WFN members, and is the main guiding document for the WFN government intended to direct all other plans, regulations, projects, and programs,” said WFN Council.

Community consultation was based on the enowkinwixw principles of respectful dialogue and consensus-building.

“Every member has a voice that matters and every voice has a say in how our community should be run,” says Aaron Derickson, community engagement lead for the CCP.

Items identified in the 2020 CCP include developing a family or community wellness survey, a lifecycle care program, as well as updating WFN’s housing strategy. The CCP also looks to create training and mentorship programs, a culture and language department, an Elders’ long-term care strategy, and stewardship or environmental laws and policies to protect areas of importance.

“The community-engagement process drew out some key items of importance,” added Derickson. “After the planning team worked tirelessly, sorting through over 2,000 comments, it became clear what the community was saying. I can’t tell you how proud I was to see all of our members come out and lend their voice.”

Derickson added that three major themes were identified as high priority – Self-determination, ownership and responsibility. The CCP is intended to be a living document that can be regularly updated to reflect the community’s changing needs and is required to be updated every five years.

“Our community has come a long way since the early days of community planning,” said WFN council. “Limlemt to all who showed up to be a part of these essential discussions and for the continued dedication to working together to ensure future generations are in a stronger position due to our efforts and actions of today.”

The CCP can be accessed here.

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@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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CommunityFirst NationsOfficial Community PlanOkanagan