Jim Bailey photo

First Nations, community leaders gather for B.C. legacy unveiling

Beaver Creek Legacy Arbour is located in the provincial park just outside of Trail

Blue skies on a crisp fall day made a perfect backdrop for the grand opening of the Beaver Creek Legacy Arbour on Sunday.

The timber alcove, located within the provincial park’s Kiwanis Beaver Creek campground, is a tangible landmark meant to recognize the community and First Nations participation in, and connection to, the Waneta Expansion Project.

Audrey Repin, Indigenous and Community Relations Lead for Columbia Power Corporation, shared the meaning behind the arbour with the crowd.

“This is our commitment from the Waneta Expansion Project,” she began. “Our commitment was that we would leave a legacy of community in this arbour.”

Repin described two panels that were unveiled during the opening. Inset within the structure are two very beautiful and unique pieces of Indigenous art.

One panel was created by the Ktunaxa Nation and the other by Spirit Peoples, an artist from the Sylix/Okanagan Nation. Peoples was in attendance with his family to share his creation during the event.

“We see this as the beginning of many, many more opportunities for cultural sharing experiences, opportunities for Nations to put up panels to share with all communities about the culture and the history of this place,” Repin shared.

“So I am really pleased that everybody is here today to share in culture, to share in song, and to share in spirit with us to bring spirit back to this land of unceded traditional territories of First Nations people.”

Representatives from the Sinixt, Ktunaxa, the Syilx/Okanagan, and the Secwepmepc Nations – including the Splatsin Tribe from the southern Shuswap Nation – joined local leaders and community members for the event.

Director Ali Grieve attended on behalf of Area A of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and as a member of Métis Nation of British Columbia Kootenay South Division.

Also in attendance to represent Columbia Power were board member John Stevens, and Brandon Haney, executive director.

In its application to the Provincial Environmental Assessment Office, Columbia Power proposed to construct a legacy project as one of the socio-economic benefits to the community.

The intent was to construct a landmark that was in close proximity to the dam that would honour the history of the area, including First Nations, other people and communities, as well as the Waneta Expansion Project.

The design was built on the concept of arbors used to support community gatherings by the Ktunaxa Nation.

Located immediately downstream of the Waneta Dam on the Pend D’Oreille River, the Waneta Expansion adds a second powerhouse that shares the existing hydraulic head, generating clean and renewable power from water that would otherwise be spilled.

The $900-million expansion was completed in July 2015, in a limited partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) and the Columbia Power Corporation (CPC).

In 2019, Fortis sold the company’s 51 per cent interest in the generating facility to the Trust and CPC for $991 million.


Artist Spirit Peoples and family. (Jim Bailey photo)

Just Posted

Four more years in South Okanagan-West Kootenay for NDP and Richard Cannings

Supporters and candidates eager for results of federal election

Trail Smoke Eaters lose goaltender Buskey to WHL

WHL Raiders deal rights of Smoke Eaters goalie Donovan Buskey to Regina Pats

Trail RCMP still looking for tips in indecent exposure case

Three young girls reported that a man exposed his penis to them

Update: Trail Smoke Eaters set franchise win-streak record, prepare for Penticton

Trail Smoke Eaters won their ninth straight game Friday, before falling in OT to Vernon Saturday

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Most Read