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


Post-secondary Students

Elementary and Secondary Students

School Attendance Incentive Program

The OKIB Education Department is starting a “School Attendance Incentive Program” for OKIB secondary school students registered on the Nominal Roll. The School Attendance Incentive Program will focus on students in Grade 8 to 12 to improve overall attendance rates and promote academic growth through active participation in the classroom.

The duration of this program will be April 19 until June 24, 2022. That’s 10 weeks and students have a chance to receive up to $500 for simply attending and being engaged in their respective classes. Eligible students may also receive a cash bonus for elevating or keeping their overall grades consistent throughout the final semester.

See the list of Gift Card Choices

Weekly Incentive

  • Students will receive a $50 grift card if they meet the attendance guidelines. Gift cards are distributed the following week for the previous week’s attendance.
  • Instead of asking the school for attendance records, students will have a “Timecard” which must be submitted at the end of each week (Timecards will be picked up/submitted to the Welcome Room each week)
  • Timecards will be signed at the end of each class by the student’s teacher
  • If the student forgets to submit timecard, they will have to wait until the next week before it can be processed
  • It is the teacher’s decision if they sign the card or not based upon attendance guidelines and student’s behaviour
  • Students may do their work in a different classroom (e.g. Indigenous Education Support Room, Library, etc.) if given permission by the teacher

Attendance Guidelines

  • Students must attend a minimum of 4 days during a 5-day week
  • Excused absences will not count as a day missed; however, as long as it is not more than one day in a row or a consistent pattern (e.g. same day each week, etc.). Parent/Guardian must excuse student
  • As per OKIB Policies, students must have a OKIB Consent Form completed to receive these supports and resources.


Students will receive bonus cash if they can raise their grade to a higher level for greater monetary reward or keep their grades consistent for the remainder of the semester to receive the cash reward (EFT or cheque) relevant to their achieved grade level. However, students will not receive the cash bonus if their grades drop to a lower level.

  • 50-60% = $50 Bonus
  • 60-70% = $100 Bonus
  • 70-80% = $150 Bonus
  • 80-90% = $200 Bonus
  • 90-100% = $300 Bonus

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact your School Liaison Coordinator:

Kevin Smeltzer
email [email protected]
text/phone 250-241-2442

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