Every First Nation family has the opportunity to have a home on their own land in a strong community.
Penticton Indian Band
The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) is the first ever First Nation to move from the Fund’s Capacity Development Program to the Credit Enhancement Program. The PIB is located on beautiful bench land in the south-western portion of the Okanagan Valley. The rolling hillsides add to the beauty of the landscape and provide a number of developable bench lands. In addition, the close proximity of the community to Highway 97 and the City of Penticton add to the land value.
The people of PIB are Okanagan, also known as the Syilx speaking people, according to their history they have been in their territory since the beginning of people on this land. The Okanagans (Syilx) people occupied an area which extended over approximately 69,000 square kilometres. The northern area of this territory stretched from the area of Mica Creek, just north of modern day Revelstoke, BC and east to Kootenay Lake. The southern boundary extended to the vicinity of Wilbur, Washington and the western border extended into the Nicola Valley.
Since 2010, with the support of the Fund, PIB has undertaken many initiatives intended to enhance their capacity and to qualify for the Fund’s Credit Enhancement status. These initiatives included: management training, succession planning, staff training and development, audit manual, policy development (housing, finance and governance), community engagement, housing plans, and an organizational review. As a result, the Band has increased the capacity and built confidence in the work that is being done. PIB has greater accountability and transparency as a result, improved communication and relationships, and ultimately increased trust within the community.
As of 2012, the current band population was 1011 of which about half live on reserve. Penticton's current Chief and Council encourage off-reserve members to consider moving back to reserve. The main challenge is the provision of housing to meet the waiting list. A large new subdivision is in the pre-design stage and the community hopes to move this project forward in order to have additional serviced lots available to meet community needs.
There are currently 208 residential units located on the reserve. Housing stock includes single family homes, some duplexes and some row housing. PIB will use the Fund to offer increased homeownership and renovation options to their membership.
“We want to help our band members to have housing for their families. We are pro-actively making great things happen through our housing department. With the combination of our governance, house lots, selection process and the self-mortgage program, as well as the support of the First Nations Market Housing Fund, we are creating the reality for our community to meet our housing needs.”
— Chief Jonathan Kruger (December 2013)
Tabitha Eneas, Housing Administrator
Penticton Indian Band
200 Westhills Drive
Penticton, British Columbia