Education, Language & Culture

The OKIB Education, Language and Culture department strives to include culture and language in our educational programming, ensuring our youth continue to hold this knowledge.

Our Goals

We recognize it is important to create a solid foundation for education. Our goal is to continue increasing the number of grade 12 graduates and increase the number of students attending college or university. We will make every effort to assist students achieve their educational goals.

The Education, Language and Culture department recognizes that it is extremely important that moral support, advisory services, and financial assistance be provided to Band members who want to further their education and training and who are eligible for post-secondary funding. Based on the availability of funds, every effort and provision will be made to assist Band members to successfully pursue and complete their educations.

Our Responsibilities

The OKIB Education, Language and Culture department is responsible for the snc'c'amala?tn Early Childhood Education Center (Daycare); nkmaplqs i snmamayatn ikl sqilxwtet Cultural Immersion School; the Language and Culture program; elementary and secondary school support services; and post-secondary funding and support services.

Our Schools

Our Programs

Transportation Q&A for Families with kids attending SD22

The BCTEA (BC Tripartite Education Agreement) is a joint transportation plan that will function as a service agreement between the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and the Board of Education of School District 22. School District No. 22 is responsible for the safety of all students while they are transporting them to and from SD22 schools and activities. There is an annual joint review and assessment of the joint plan for effectiveness and to identify any improvements.

The Board of Education and OKIB work together to identify transportation needs and services to get all nominal role students enrolled in SD22 to and from school, respecting parental choice of where to enroll their child to attend school.

Click here to read through the full Q&A


Post-secondary Students

Elementary and Secondary Students

Noteworthy Announcements

School District 22 (Vernon) and Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) sign Local Education Agreement

School District 22 (Vernon) and the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) have entered into their second Local Education Agreement (LEA). This agreement will focus on the collaborative efforts needed to support the students and families of the Okanagan Indian Band.

For the past seven months, renewed relationships and efforts have resulted in School District 22 and the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) co-creating an agreement to build effective working relationships and strategies that will provide wrap-around supports for Okanagan Indian Band students and families. The agreement serves as a guide, setting out specific goals and outlining the respective roles in improving educational outcomes and graduation rates.

Local Education Agreements apply to on-reserve students for the purchase of programs and services by First Nations. The Local Education Agreement is negotiated locally with the goal of reflecting the unique priorities of individual First Nations. Topics of negotiation can include funding, transportation, sharing information and data, culture, language, as well as other local priorities.

“The Local Education Agreement will help improve our students’ success,” said Byron Louis, Chief of the Okanagan Indian Band. “LEAs result in better grades, increased Dogwood completion rates, and smoother transitions to post-secondary education, training, or employment.”

“Education is key to true and lasting reconciliation, and through this LEA, we want to support Okanagan Indian Band students in being confident in their self-identity, their traditional values, their Syilx language, and culture,” says Board of Education Chair, Gen Acton. “We want OKIB students to graduate, excel, and pursue their passions.”

The School District 22 (Vernon) Board of Education is committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action (2015), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and the B.C. Declaration (2019), the provincial Standards for B.C. Educators – Standard 9 (2019), and the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning.

A formal celebration of the LEA signing will take place post-COVID 19 restrictions. To review the Local Education Agreement (LEA) visit our website at: under the Board of Education tab.

You can read the entire Local Education Agreement here.

For more information contact:

Chief Byron Louis at [email protected]
Board Chair, Gen Acton [email protected]

Key Contacts

Gareth Jones
Director, Education, Language and Culture
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 236-599-4025

Lacey Gregoire
Education Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 250-309-9771

Kevin Smeltzer
School Liaison Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 250-241-2442

Kaity Laverman
Employment and Training Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 250-241-7078

Click here to see the Education department organizational chart.