Public Safety

The Public Safety section is responsible for providing promotions and services to enhance community safety. The section's services include Youth Recreation and Youth Justice workers.

Reimagining Justice: Shaping Community-Police Relations Through Action and Advocacy

Members, on July 27th, a historic gathering unfolded within the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) community at Head of the Lake. A convergence of leadership, community members, and representatives from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) marked a significant step towards reshaping the narrative of community-police relations. This pivotal event, graced by the opening remarks and prayer led by Elder Pauline Gregoire in nsyilxcen, set the tone for a day of transformative conversations and recommendations. The Okanagan song, performed by Marnie Gregoire, added a reminder that everyone present was to remember their own beauty that day. The conversations that were about to take place were difficult and it hearing the Okanagan Song was an important reminder that as syilx Peoples each person has belonging to place and are beautiful because they belong to place. Follow this link to read the entire report

Women's Talking Circle

September to October 2023

Women interested in attending a talking circle that will be held at the Public Safety Building which is located on the lower level of hall. The talking circle will begin in September 2023 and will run until end of October 2023, and will be set up for a once-a-week meeting.

The group can discuss what topics they would like to share on a weekly basis. Would also like input regarding what day of the week- afternoon or evening except Wednesday evening and the time frame will be for two hours. The group will set up guidelines for the circle’s safety and confidentiality.

Please include your name, how you would like to be notified: phone/email or text.

Please contact me to sign up or ask questions:
Email: [email protected]
Call or text me at: 250-308-6662

- Linda C Williams, Syilx Community Liaison

Introducing the ntytyix Action Plan Annual Report

Discover our collective vision for a safe community in the newly released ntytyix Action Plan Annual Report! We engaged 182 community members, including Elders and Youth, to shape our communities action plan and reflect our shared aspirations. Working hand-in-hand with various band departments, we have developed individual plans that aim to build a stronger and safer community.

In the report you’ll find where the departments are in relation to their own action plans.

Join us in this journey as we strive to create a community where safety and well-being are at the forefront. Together, we can make a difference!

Click here to read the full report.

Community Safety Toolkit for Youth

This toolkit is a heartfelt prayer for the safety and well-being of all sqilx’w impacted by ongoing colonial violence our community continues to face. It is our responsibility to collectively contribute to your belonging of safety in our homelands.

Check out the Community Safety Toolkit for Youth here.

As the feet of our young ones touch the ground, we pray that they feel a deep sense of connection, safety, and worthiness of loving kinships and relationships. This toolkit is a result of the collective voices of our community, local experts with lived experiences, who poured their hearts into this project to support the well-being and personal safety of our beloved sqilx’w. Together, let's continue our journey of nurturing our strength as a community where everyone can feel safe.

Testing finds contaminants in illegal cannabis

Read the information by clicking here.

Mending Broken Hearts Healing; Wellbriety Meetings; and Cultural Safety Education

Daily an individual may experience an emotional trigger by another person’s behaviour, attitude, or inappropriate actions. The emotional trigger is anything including memories, experiences or events that sparks an intense emotional reaction-regardless of current mood.

Since COVID began within the community and outlying areas, the fire, evacuation and losses; the many OKIB members who had passed on, also the news of communities who began sharing about the Indian Residential Schools of children being buried within their premises, on-going of Murdered and Missing Women and Men – all these experiences had an effect on individuals.

The healing process begins within oneself to share their truth of their experiences which helps one to overcome feeling anxiety, fear and to help one to find their voice. The workshop is a safe place with no judgement and each member is asked to keep confidentiality as it is up to the individual to share their story of truth with those that they feel safe in doing so. An individual has a choice of saying the name of a person(s) who affected them however no questions asked when individual chooses not to.

The two-day Mending Broken Hearts Healing Circle is scheduled monthly and an opportunity for OKIB members to participate in so one can start to process the effects of past or current experiences that has/had caused oneself to feel anxiety, or afraid to share.

It is important for an individual to process these past/current experiences through workshops, and one on one counselling, group healing circles. Wellbriety Meetings is a healing circle that is held every Wednesday at Public Safety. Contact Michael Ochoa at 250-309-0353.

The two-day Cultural Safety Education with Eric Mitchell and Chris Marchand as presenters with one/two staff members present as supporters. The educational workshop gives oneself information that will include Pre-contact, Canada’s Hidden History, Understanding Truth and Reconciliation etc. Information, discussion on how the Indian Act was implemented, the Indian Residential School, Day Schools, 60 scoop.

When an individual chooses to not process their past/current issues then it is passed onto others that may have triggered them; the unresolved issues or grieving that was endured over time has been passed on for generations since our Indian people have attended the Indian Residential Schools. There have been surveys, meetings where community members have expressed the need to feel safety, therefore as an individual we can do our best to heal self with the help of others.

To participate register on-line: [email protected]

Overview: Traumatic events are common, and most people will experience at least one during their lives.

Traumatic experiences may include:

  • Being in a serious accident
  • Being involved in war-either as a civilian or as part of military operations
  • Being involved in a natural disaster, such as bushfire, flood etc.
  • Being assaulted

Traumatic events include things that happen to you directly. Or to someone you are close to.

An event can be traumatic if you witnessed it happening to someone else or if you were involved in the course of your work. For example:

  • If you were the first on the scene of a serious accident, or after a natural disaster.
  • If you learnt that a friend or family member was in a life-threatening event, was seriously injured or died suddenly and unexpectedly.

In the first days and weeks after a traumatic event, people often experience strong feelings of fear, sadness, guilt, anger, and grief. As they begin to make sense of what happened to them, these feelings usually begin to subside. For some people though, a traumatic event can lead to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol, and drug use, as well as impacting their relationships with family, friends and at work.

Examples of childhood trauma could include:

  • Being hit or smacked by your parents/grandparents.
  • Having an emotionally unavailable parent who withholds affection.
  • Being “punished” by kicking, shaking, biting, burning, hair puling, pinching, scratching etc.
  • Being the child of divorce
  • Being given inappropriate or burdensome responsibilities (such as caring for your parents)
  • Not being fed or provided a safe place to live from your parents.
  • Abandoned (your caretakers leaving you alone for long periods of time without a babysitter)
  • Emotional neglect, ie: not being nurtured, encouraged, or supported.
  • Being deliberately called names or verbally insulted
  • Denigration of your personality
  • Destruction of personal belongings
  • Excessive demands
  • Humiliation
  • Car accidents, or other spontaneous traumatic events.

For one-on-one counselling contact Linda Williams 250-308-6662.

Important Information for people struggling with substance abuse

Calling Community Members to join the Community Consultative Group (CCG)

The CCG meets every other month (usually at Public Safety Office). The CCG is made up of OKIB community members, and Indigenous Policing Services (RCMP). The CCG acts as a liaison role between the community and the RCMP. The CCG members identify and advocate for community policing priorities and community safety, promoting dialogue and good communication between police services and community members. CCG attendees meet for a few hours, to identify issues, projects, events, gap in policing, etc. within the OKIB community and work with RCMP to resolve identified concerns.

Please let Cst Neil Horne, know if you are interested in joining the CCG and able to attend the next meeting (time TBD). Email at [email protected]

The beginning for recovery: drug and alcohol addiction treatment pathways

Usually, it is overcoming denial that starts the process, or hitting "rock bottom” that often leads the user to treatment. But direct intervention works as well. Healing then becomes a lifetime process. Relapse is a focus at every level of treatment.


Principles may include a variety of treatment options such as medication used along with individual and group therapy- peer groups, facilitated group therapy and educational groups are components of treatment and support recovery. Treating co-existing conditions along with addiction. Goals motivate clients toward abstinence and rebuilding lives without drug use.

Michael Ochoa, Justice Worker has group therapy- Wellbriety Meetings every Wednesday evening at the Public Safety Office from 5:30pm to 7:30 pm.

There is availability for Alcohol and Drug Counselling sessions and completion of forms to enter a treatment center. Linda Williams, Syilx Cultural Liaison, contact 250-308-6662 to set up an appointment.

Click here to read the full text on 'The Beginning for Recovery'

Meet Cst. Neil Horne, our RCMP Indigenous Policing Liaison

I want to thank Chief and Council and the members of OKIB for the opportunity to be your RCMP Liaison Police Officer, through RCMP’s First Nations Policing Program. The program has three main goals:

  • To enhance community policing services
  • To support culturally responsive policing in First Nation and Inuit communities
  • To recognize input from Indigenous communities of policing services received.

I would like to acknowledge that I have the privilege to work on the unceded territory of Syilx Okanagan peoples.

I have spent 20 years in social work prior to joining the RCMP, and I understand the importance of positive community engagement. I am a husband, father to 4 beautiful children and enjoy being active in their lives through coaching various sports they partake in. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or just want to say hi, please feel free to connect with me, anytime you see me out and about in your community or at the Public Safety Office.

Also starting February 2023 I will have dedicated office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30to 3:30 at the Public Safety Office.

Remember: Anytime you require police services call 911 for all emergencies and for any non-emergency reports, you can call the Armstrong RCMP Detachment at 250-546-3028.

I look forward to hearing from you and working with everyone, to help maintain OKIB as a safe community to live, work and play.

My Contact Information:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 250-546-3028

Cst. Neil Horne

Report on Youth Homelessness

The Public Safety unit has published the following documents on the subject of youth homelessness in the region. Please check out the report. If you are seeking housing or counselling, the Resource Library is a comprehensive list of resources that may be able to help.

9-1-1 Calling guide

Calling 9-1-1 can be stressful, when you need help and things are happening quickly.

Here's a few tips on what you can do to make sure emergency personnel get the information they need so you're prepared next time you need to dial 9-1-1.

9-1-1 Calling guide

Ntytyix A Time for Action Phase II Final Report for 2022

Click Here to read the Phase 2 final report

Drug Awareness Fact Sheets

Check out the Drug Awareness Fact Sheets which contains facts about many street drugs, their effects, and other important details.

Public Safety Reports

RCMP Reports

Comprehensive Safety Strategy Survey

OKIB Youth Council

Click here to go to the OKIB Youth Council web page to read about the current representatives.

Self-management Resources for Community Members

Follow this link to see a list of free resources that you can use to learn, support and self-manage mild to moderate mental health concerns. Information regarding the programs is taken directly from their websites and is in their words, wherever possible.

Community Safety Information

Click here to read some tips on keeping your home, family and the community safe.

Click here for a list of helpful community resources (July 2023).