OKIB breaks ground on cultural immersion elementary school

The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) has officially broken ground on a new Okanagan Indian Band Cultural Immersion Elementary School. Once constructed, the school will replace the aging Cultural Immersion School building it has outgrown. OKIB will be able to offer a more culturally appropriate learning environment for the community’s students, who in turn will be able to learn the Squilxw language and culture in a safe, inclusive learning environment. “Schooling hasn’t been very good for our people. Residential schools and day schools were places where our own knowledge was not allowed,” said OKIB member Bill Cohen. “With our own school, we can change that, where our kids have a place to speak our language and learn our own knowledge that has been here for thousands of years. They will have access to all of the world knowledge too.” The school is supported by $19.3M from the Government of Canada and $2.85M from OKIB.

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