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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Artist Spirit Peoples and family. (Jim Bailey photo)

Just Posted

Pandemic exposes “culture of non-compliance”

Building Trades Council calls for public inquiry into construction site sanitation

Morning start: This famous singer is from the West Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Tuesday, May 26

Expect traffic delays near Castlegar

Two road resurfacing projects getting underway on Highway 3

Bears are back, so is Rossland/Trail WildSafeBC

The organization will deliver service this season mindful of pandemic precautions

Trail RCMP report violent home invasion

Trail RCMP report violent break and enter

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read