Similkameen Valley Smeqlmix Conservation Areas
Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) has been wanting to protect important parts of their ancestral territory for centuries, and is working now to create three new IPCAs in the Tulameen Watershed, the Ashnola River Corridor, and the Ollala Highlands
These areas cover nearly 300,000 hectares of culturally and ecologically significant landscapes.
The new IPCAs would create a new regime of ecosystem and smelqmix based forestry practices, which would conserve and restore forested and grassland habitats that support many species at risk, and provide cultural sustenance and sustainability practices
Part 1 – Fire
Part 2 – Water
Part 3 – Land
Traditional Law Training Session
Highly important area for food sourcing and medicine gathering for smelqmix
This area is the most intact, and unprotected, headwater area of the Similkameen River, an increasingly important body of water that provides climate change resiliency to the entire valley
Under threat from forestry and mining, and climate change impacts
Ashnola River Corridor
Highly intact area important for connectivity at higher elevations and through the river valley that connects Manning Provincial Park to the Snowy Protected Area
Supports important wildlife populations like ungulates and grizzly bears
Under threat from forestry, fires, and other climate change impacts
Home to endangered ponderosa pine ecosystems and grasslands
Important cultural hunting and gathering area, prioritized by community members for access to foods and medicines
Under threat from forestry and grazing
This proposal has been brought to the provincial government, but no action has been taken to engage in discussions on advancing the creation of these IPCAs
The LSIB is inviting the province to engage in discussions on the creation of these new IPCAs and work jointly on protecting important habitat and help restore the landscapes that have sustained the smelqmix peoples for millennia
Inquiries or support for the Similkameen Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) can be directed to Lauren Terbasket and Gwen Bridge via the button below.
About the Smelqmix
Learn more about the Smalqmix of the Sukwnaqin-x. Visit the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) website.