The Canim Lake Band has 517 members with close to 75% living on the reserve. There are 66 houses for the members, with 25 families, 30 singles and 10 Elders on the housing waiting list.
The band has the Eliza Archie Memorial School for K-12; some of the students attend high school in 100 Mile House. The band also has an adult education Life Skills Program.
Like the other three Cariboo Tribal Council member communities, Canim Lake finds its reserve lands encroached by public access roads (a highway goes through the main reserves), hydro lines, gas lines and phone lines which serve the public at large.
The band employs between 50 and 150 people, including band and non-band members and non-natives as well, depending on the time of year and seasonal or education related employment. The major areas of employment with the band are the administration of various programs, Social Development, Education and various Economic Development ventures.
The lake known as Canim Lake and for which the band is named is fairly large and yet there is very little reserve land on this beautiful lake. Because of the many lakes the area is tourist oriented and much of the lake access is taken up by private land and long time lease holders.
The Canim Lake community carries out much of its band and personal business in 100 Mile House, Kamloops and Williams Lake.
Our people are a proud community, we are striving for self-sufficiency through education, economic development and social development. Through local leadership from both the elected council and the individual members and community groups, Canim Lake is on the forefront of many major activities undertaken by aboriginal groups at large.
Some of the major activities taking place now or in the planning stages are: Canim Lake is active in the tripartite treaty process; Native Victim/Offender Treatment Program in its third year; local policing; a half time probation officer; band operated school for K-12; active participation in the Royal Commission on Residential Schools; adult education; economic ventures: Teniye Logging, a band operated store and gas business; Shuswap language revival in the school; and, taking over the health services to our members.
Some of our people's past achievements include War Veterans of WW I and WWII; 21 graduates of a seven year Gonzaga University Program in both education and business; a Local Education Agreement with the school district; rebuilding of our church; building a good working relationship with the government; and maintaining our language and culture through our Elders.
Our people are very active in the healing process from alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, family violence, drug abuse and suicide. It is an ongoing struggle for a people that have in the past been treated by non-native society as burdens and a threat. This view of native people is changing slowly, but is often hindered by the violent and unlawful actions of a few.
On the whole, non-native society is quite naive when it comes to understanding native people. They only see what is on television, in the movies and on the news, which is mostly the negative side of our communities.
What they don't see is that we are a proud people, that we are caring and supportive of one another, that we are family (extended) oriented, that in most ways we are like anyone else with hopes, dreams and aspirations for a better future.
We are as a nation trying to regain our dignity and place in society and are doing this through self-government and education.
As a distinct people, a 'minority', our community is not a burden on society. On the contrary, our people do in fact contribute a lot to the neighboring township, both financially and by being active in community based activities.
Our people have always had our language and our culture. In the last 100 years our way of life has been threatened and our people almost wiped out, mainly through diseases like the small pox which were brought from another country. Our people have been struggling to regain their dignity, pride and sense of self-worth through the revival of our culture, language and traditions.
As the Canim Lake Band we are taking our place in society, we have fought long and hard to be recognized as a distinct nation within a nation.
We are distinct but we also have the same basic needs as the rest of society.
BC TREATY COMMISSION | OPENNESS PROTOCOL
CANIM LAKE BAND | CANOE CREEK BAND
SODA CREEK BAND | WILLIAMS LAKE BAND
HISTORY | MISCONCEPTIONS
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