Strengthening cultures and communities
We encourage awareness and respect for Indigenous cultures, values and beliefs by supporting programs and projects that showcase the traditions and knowledge of these communities. Participating in events and celebrating culture helps us stay connected and strengthens relationships with communities we serve throughout BC.
Yaqan Nikuy (Lower Kootenay Band), Chief Isadore Trail
We provided funding to the Trans Canada Trail in 2017 to install interpretive signs along sections of the Chief Isadore Trail near Cranbrook. The Chief Isadore Trail takes its name from the Chief who brought peace to the Ktunaxa Nation and European settlers during a time of tension.
This funding for the Chief Isadore Trail supported the research, graphic design and manufacturing of the signs. The multilingual signs can be found at significant points of interest on the trail and educate users about the history, traditions and legends of the Ktunaxa people.
Ooknakane Friendship Centre
We provided financial support to the Ooknakane Friendship Centre in Penticton. Its services to Indigenous community members include employment assistance, parenting support and ROOTs program administration, which helps Indigenous youth in care connect with their ancestry and culture, as well as other important social and cultural support programs.
Shown in photo (L to R): Jane Shaak, Executive Director for The Okanagan School of the Arts - Shatford Centre; Patricia Dobrik, Family Outreach Worker at the Ooknakane Friendship Centre; Michelle Cahoon, Community Ambassador at FortisBC; Paula Jacobs-St. Germaine, Mental Health and Addictions at the Ooknakane Friendship Centre.
Skeetchestn Indian Band
When local creeks were close to breeching the banks near Skeetchestn Indian Band homes in April 2018, as well as our gas lines near Kamloops, our operations team reached out to the Band management, who introduced us to Indigenous contractors, Painted Rock Aggregates & Contracting LLP. Painted Rock were on site the following day with equipment and material to assist in reinforcing the creek banks and worked with our operations team to protect the community and our infrastructure.
Stz’uminus First Nation
Students at Ladysmith Secondary School learned about Coast Salish culture with a welcoming pole called the Nutsumaat Syaays Pole, which will welcome visitors to the community. Stz’uminus carver John Marston shaped the red cedar at the school so that students could learn about Indigenous teachings and culture as the pole’s details began to reveal themselves.
We supported the costs of transporting the pole to the school and then to its permanent home once the final transformation had taken place. FortisBC operations supervisors, managers and members of our transmission crew also volunteered their time and equipment to the project, giving us the opportunity to experience the blessing of the figure as it arrived at the school.
FortisBC is also proudly involved in:
- Lower Kootenay Band’s Annual Pow Wow
- Okanagan Nation Alliance Salmon Feast celebration
- Lower Similkameen Indian Band Community Pit House Project
- Osoyoos Indian Band Youth Centre
- Ktunaxa Nation Council Sturgeon release in Creston