Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie
Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie

Osoyoos and OIB exchange land

by - Story: 50401

The Town of Osoyoos and the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) signed an agreement Tuesday to exchange land around 45th Street in east Osoyoos and to reposition that roadway leading to the Band’s NK’MIP Resort – moving it west from its current intersection with Highway 3.

The changes will create a safer intersection at the highway, will allow for future expansion and connection of roadways in the area, and help to correct the historical loss of traditional OIB lands, paving the way for the Band to add recently purchased property in the area to its reserve.

The Band recently purchased 16 hectares of private property in the area, within Town boundaries (the Metzler, Kalkat and Ferreira properties), using funds provided by the Haynes Land Claim Agreement made between OIB and the provincial and federal governments in the late-1990s.

That agreement addressed the loss of OIB land from when Judge J.C. Haynes settled in the area 150 years ago, and it provided funds for the purchase of land in the Osoyoos and Oliver areas for addition to the OIB reserve.

The Band will complete the transfer of this 16-hectare parcel to its reserve in the near future.

“With this agreement we can now proceed with the addition to our reserve, moving forward in the critical process of rectifying the historical loss of our traditional lands," says Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie.

Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells says, “This project will do good things for OIB members and the citizens of Osoyoos. It illustrates the co-operative spirit between the Town and the Band as we develop our adjoining properties and promote the economic development of our region.”

Today’s agreement enables OIB to subdivide its newly acquired property – allowing the existing 45th Street to become OIB land, providing for a new 45th Street to be constructed at OIB expense, and giving the Town access for the future extension of Cedar Lane and potential future roadways connecting 45th Street and Cottonwood Drive.

“This realignment of 45th Street will provide additional access roads and a much safer highway intersection for the NK’MIP Resort,” says Wells.

“It also follows through on recommendations of the Town’s earlier Kneeshaw Engineering Report on that area, gives the Town and OIB better access to properties for future development, and gives the Kalkat and Ferreira properties much better access and road frontage for future development.”

“It’s a win-win for everyone," adds Wells.

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