The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) is one of several communities that suffered destruction of homes and properties during the 2021 White Rock Lake fire. The fire ravaged through thousands of square kilometres of land during July and August this year, and led to the long-term evacuation of over 1,000 residents on the Indian Reserve #1.
Members of the OKIB community have lost homes, businesses, farms, and equipment from this devastating fire. Community members were displaced for weeks and suffered greatly while waiting to hear whether their lifelong homes had survived. This has had untold mental health effects. Additionally, the community has suffered losses to our Land including our watersheds, thousands of acres of forests, hunting grounds and ceremonial lands. Many of the losses are uninsured, and the cultural significance of many possessions are of immeasurable value.
Thankfully, no lives were lost but the immense grief felt by our community will persist for decades to come. At the time of this posting, there are still 35 people still on evacuation until their homes are rebuilt.
Many generous people have expressed interest in helping OKIB through this hardship, and so we have set up a Go Fund Me to raise our goal of at least $50,000. All proceeds will be used to provide direct benefits to OKIB Band members in the form of emergency relief for those directly affected by the 2021 White Rock Wildfire. Our deepest gratitude goes out to all those who can donate.
We hope to achieve our fundraising target by November 13, 2021.