The Okanagan Indian Band and Regional District of North Okanagan have been working together to clean up Sandy Beach in Vernon. New signage has been added to notify members of the public of the park’s bylaws now that it falls under the RDNO. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

Vernon’s Sandy Beach clean up ‘coming along nicely’: OKIB

Okanagan Indian Band provides update on changes at popular beach in Vernon

Things are “coming along nicely” at Sandy Beach, according to the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB).

An agreement was made last month to have the RDNO maintain the beach on Okanagan Lake year round with beach raking in the summer months.

The popular beach now falls under the RDNO’s park bylaws which will enable enforcement against littering and vandalism. The RDNO can also enforce fire bans and dogs on the beach.

“Sandy Beach is an important part of a long history of Syilx culture and practice,” said OKIB Chief Byron Louis.

“Our occupancy and use, such as an important fishery and as a gathering point for our people and visitors, is a matter of public and oral record,” he said in July, following the announcement of the new agreement. “We are happy to see an agreement that will ensure the beach is maintained to a high standard.”

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Aug. 11, the OKIB said cleaning at Canoe/Sandy Beach is coming along.

“The RDNO is working closely with our TSD (Territorial Stewardship) department to ensure any culturally significant material is not disturbed at the site while still doing a thorough job cleaning the beach,” the post reads.

Signs notifying the public of bylaws regarding dogs and fires have been erected at the beach already and soon, cultural signs that tell the Syilx story of the beach area will also be put up.

“The RDNO will be putting those signs up so the public knows the history of the place from our perspective, as soon as our team has the material ready,” the social media post reads.

“Sandy Beach is a beautiful spot along Okanagan Lake, and we are proud to work with the OKIB to make it more accessible, clean and safe for locals and visitors,” said Electoral Area B (BX-Swan Lake) director Bob Fleming.

The City of Vernon maintains one half of the stretch of beach, Kin Beach, and the RDNO will maintain the other half, Sandy Beach.

READ MORE: Agreement reached for Vernon beach maintenance

READ MORE: Vernon chamber encouraged by direction of cultural centre planning


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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