Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 30, 2001 - Issue 39



Indigenous Environmental Network
12th Annual
Protecting Mother Earth Conference


from Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)


12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster 12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster 12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster
12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster
12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster 12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster 12th Annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference Poster

This is the first Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) conference to be held in Canada. The outdoor camping conference will be held on traditional lands of the Okanagan Nation of the Penticton Band of First Nations. It is a beautiful land, easily accessible right off Highway 97 South, approximately 3 miles (6 km) outside of the town of Penticton. From the conference site, you could see the Skaha Lake. Penticton is about a hours drive from the United States – Canadian border on Highway 97, north of Omak, Washington. From Spokane to Penticton it is 236 miles. From Calgary, Alberta it is 670 km or 419 miles. From Vancouver, BC, it is 390 km or 244 miles and from Seattle it is 315 miles. The weekend following the conference is the well known Omak Stampede, Suicide Run and Rodeo in Omak, Washington. Sometimes they have the Omak Pow-Wow at the same time.

The town of Penticton is in the Okanagan Valley, surrounded by mountains. Penticton is known for its peach, apple, cherry, apricot, plum, grape and pear orchards. Visitor information for Penticton is 1-800-663-5052. We must let you know that in the summer time, the town of Penticton is a tourist trap with near 50 hotels, RV parks, and resorts, water slides, beaches, etc. Even though Penticton is surrounded by mountains and pine trees, expect temperatures to be in the 90+ degrees F. Evenings are much cooler. Bring shade and your tent. Penticton has a small airport. Kelowna, 49 miles away has a larger regional airport. Free shuttles will be scheduled daily for persons arriving at either of these airports. Contact us later in July for shuttle schedules.

The conference site will have plenty of camping space. In August, the grass will probably have turned brown and campfire restrictions will most likely be in effect. Camp stoves will be allowed, however, no open fires, except for the sacred fire and sweat lodge fires. Drinking water will be available and shower facilities. The higher elevation area surrounding the conference site has cougar and grizzly bears in the area, so hiking in the higher elevations will be restricted. The local Okanagan Warrior Society will patrol the area on horseback and provide camp security.

The En’owkin Centre’ and the Penticton First Nations are our host. En’owkin (pronounced en-OW-kin) describes an Okanagan process which pursues the challenge to build solutions collaboratively using diversity to create new insight. En’owkin Centre’ was established in 1979 by seven Bands of the Okanagan Nation to preserve, perpetuate and promote Okanagan knowledge through education. Both the En’owkin Centre’ and the community of the Penticton Band maintain strong Okanagan spiritual conviction of the sacred and interconnection of all life. The Centre has been involved in cultural and environmental research, Indigenous knowledge, community development, language training, publishing, arts, video production and many other areas. The Okanagan Confederacy are known for being defenders of their aboriginal rights in Canada.

The Penticton Band and the Okanagan Nation Confederacy that extends throughout the Okanagan Valley and into the Washington state areas that include the Colville tribe are proud people that still maintain their close connection to the land and the rivers. However, colonial development in their homelands from the agricultural industry, dams and water diversions, mining, timber industry and tourism have depleted their traditional sources of fishing grounds, created pesticide and mercury contamination, and changed their landscape from years of clearcutting practices. But the Penticton Band have challenged these obstacles and have been effective at developing sustainable forest management practices and through ceremony are helping to restore salmon spawning grounds.

This year, once again, we will be conducting a Water Ceremony that will be lead by the Indigenous women. Please bring a bottled sample of water from either your water faucet, well, spring, river, lake or ocean. During the Water Ceremony, your water will be merged into a clay vessel and ceremony will take place to pray for the sacred waters of the four directions. The meeting of heart and mind of Indigenous Peoples and their non-Indigenous supporters from the four directions will further strengthen our voice to defend the sacredness of our Mother Earth.

Here is a map to let you see where Penticton is located:

Map - Penticton, BC

Maps by Travel


Indigenous Environmental Network-Invitation


En'owkin Centre
A native controlled spiritually based cultural educational resources organization and charity committed to reinstating vital Native philosophy and practise into human living in all its aspects. Our staff is qualified and skilled especially in developing and implementing native mechanisms to achieve our objectives and goals. We are committed to working with all peoples to achieve harmony and health within our communities. The word En'owkin is a commitment to creating a new paradigm.


Penticton Indian Band
The Penticton Indian Band represents one of the seven communities of the Okanagan Nation.






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