A letter from the Penticton Indian Band, opposing the Banks Crescent development proposal, does not necessarily mean the end of the proposal.
“From a legal perspective, it wouldn’t stop the process,” said Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer with the municipality.
The letter was dated Jan. 26.
Chief Chad Eneas said the band was not consulted about this development proposal.
“Meaningful consultation has not been achieved by either the proponent or the City of what is now known as Summerland regarding this development,” the letter said.
The letter stated that the proposed development affects a specific claim by the band. The claim was submitted to the federal government in December, 2011 under Canada’s Specific Claims Policy and Process. The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has recognized and accepted the claim for negotiation.
“These lands are syilx/Penticton Indian Band lands and we are of the opinion that the environment, water, wildlife and our economy and thus impact Syilx Title and Rights,” the letter states. “Any activities proposed within this specific claim area are wholly subject to the Penticton Indian Band/syilx decision making authority.”
Tynan said the band and the municipality do not agree on areas of the band’s jurisdiction.
She said the municipality is not required to consult with the band on a development of this nature. Consultations have not taken place about past developments.
Municipal council has received the letter from the band.
In addition, a resolution at the last municipal council meeting called for staff to continue working through the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Referral Working Group on establishing a regional referral process protocol with First Nations.
Summerland staff will contact and meet with band representatives to identify opportunities for additional communications between the municipality and the band on development activities.
The engagement protocols with the band will also be added to the list of outstanding items for the application of an Official Community Plan amendment and rezoning for the Banks Crescent development application.