OKIB School Design Phase

The OKIB Cultural Immersion School project has advanced to the Design Phase. Please bookmark page and check back often for updates.

NEW School Design: Phase Two

February 18, 2021 - OKIB has embarked on the second phase building its NEW Cultural Immersion School. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has approved $14 million towards the development and construction of a K4-7 elementary school. The placement of the new school will be adjacent to Snc’c’amala?tn Early Childhood Centre at Komasket Park.

To oversee this large and very important capital project OKIB retained the services of CML Project Management (Kelowna). CML provides professional engineering and project management services, supporting all aspects of this project including budget allocation, contractor and ISC negotiations, and approving of both site and building construction requirements.

Iredale Architects were appointed to oversee the design and construction of the new school. Iredale, located in Vancouver, has worked collaboratively with many First Nations communities throughout BC. Iredale strongly believes that community involvement is essential for delivering a functional and culturally relevant building that the community deserves. Iredale Architects built the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School for the Penticton Indian Band and also constructed the new addition/renovation to sənsisyustən House of Learning at Westbank First Nation. If you are interested in reviewing these projects and many others, you are encouraged to visit the Iredale webpage http://iredale.ca/first-nations/.

What better community members to ask, about what this new school should look like, than the current students attending nk̓maplqs iʔ snm̓am̓ay̓aʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilxʷtət. Students were recently asked “What would your dream school look like? Students were encouraged to draw or write what they would want in their dream school. Below you will find some examples of their imaginative and creative work.

OKIB is in the process of setting-up more community involvement meetings. These meetings are designed to inform community and obtain input along each stage of the school design and construction. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the meetings remain limited to virtual participation on Zoom. I understand this format is not convenient for many community members. Therefore, if you would like anymore information please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me on my cell 250 306-4404. I would be happy to listen to your ideas and answer your questions.

Sandie Derrickson
School Design Coordinator
Cell: 250.306.4404
Email: [email protected]

New School Committee:

Michael Fotheringham – interim Executive Director
Brad Janvier – Director of Public Works and Housing
Gareth Jones – Director of Education, Language and Culture
Tanya Saddleman-Joe – Vice Principle, nk̓maplqs iʔ snm̓am̓ay̓aʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilxʷtət
Lorraine Laddan – Manager, snc’c’amala?tn
Val Cheba – Council Representative
Eric Mitchell – Community Member
Joash Alexis – Assistant to the Executive Director


School Design Phase Update

December 9, 2020 - The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) have completed their feasibility study to rebuild nk̓maplqs iʔ snm̓am̓ay̓aʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilxʷtət, translated as North Okanagan Head of the Lake Place of Learning our sqilxw Ways. Recent approval from the Federal Government has allowed OKIB to advance this project towards building a new, full-size, modern elementary school for grades K4 through seven, at Komasket Park.

OKIB has now entered into the Design Phase of this project and out team continues to work closely with the community, staff, our architectural firm and our engineering consultants to identify the fundamental elements pertaining this school. These fundamental elements include; classroom sizes, library, cafeteria/lunchroom, language and culture room and a full-size gymnasium. All of these elements are important for building a functional and welcoming school for students.

Functionality is in the for-front of the project. We have contacted other First Nations School to enquire as to what does and does not work in their schools. Many have mentioned that the cultural esthetics of every school are beautiful but it does not always work with the functionality of the school. As we are striving to have as much cultural elements in the design we are aware that functionality is of importance in this project.

The staff of our Cultural Immersion School play an important role in guiding the project team as to what would work best for the students and staff. Their input is what is going to make this school an encouraging, safe, and fun learning environment for children.

Even though we have many mountains yet to climb in completing this project we have a confident team who are prepared to make a difference in this community. We are working closely with Chief and Council and community to ensure a school is built to meet all future needs of the children and the community. It is our hope the school will be completed by September 2023.

School Spaces Funded vs Unfunded

School Spaces
This graphic shows the proportion of the new school that is funded versus unfunded. Solid lines indicate the funded portion. Dotted lines represent the unfunded portion.

School Design Community Meeting

The first School Design Community Meeting took place by Zoom on Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We reviewed these documents at the meeting:

To join the meeting, simply click the link below. The Zoom software will automatically download and open the meeting.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Meeting ID: 878 0374 7797
Passcode: 451431

Notice School Design Community Meeting

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

Meeting ID: 878 0374 7797
Passcode: 451431

Meet the School Design Phase Team


Design Phase Workplan and Schedule

You can view the preliminary workplan and schedule for the design phase of the school replacement project here.

School Feasibility Study Report

You must be an OKIB member to access the report. To access the report you must log in to your OKIB account on www.okib.ca

Childcare Photo 6 No Text

The vision for a new school has been shaped by many over the years. Watch this video made in 2013 where students of nk̓məplqs iʔ snmaḿýʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilʷtət share their ideas, hopes, and explain why they value the educational experience found only in our Cultural Immersion School.