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Secwepemc Lakes Training and
Employment Initiative


This two year initiative is funded by BC Rural Dividend Fund, submitted by Community Futures Shuswap on behalf of the local Secwepemc Lakes Communities and regional partners.

The Goal of the Secwepemc Lakes Employment and Training Initiative is to empower and build self-determination among Indigenous youth and their communities. In addition, we will highlight and promote successful youth entrepreneurs. The foundation of the work will be guided by traditional practices, identifying and encouraging the "gifts" they were born with.


This will be achieved by working collaboratively with communities and project partners to provide entrepreneurship, education and training opportunities.

To date we have completed a 4 Band survey and focus groups with Indigenous/Metis youth. Check out the full survey results and monthly newsletter to learn more about this exciting initiative below!

And make sure to follow us on our Facebook site at:


View the Secwepemc Lakes Research Report  here

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Secwepemc Lakes Tourism Project

We are currently seeking an Indigenous Tourism Coordinator to join our team.

For more information, view the Job Posting here.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Community Futures, this contract position is responsible for the implementation of the Indigenous Tourism Strategy for the Lakes Communities of the Shuswap Region.

For more information, view the Position Description here.

The Shuswap Trail Alliance


In November 2004, regional stakeholders in the Shuswap met to consider a proposal by local trail advocates envisioning the creation of an internationally recognized natural trail and waterway network promoting environmental stewardship, sustainable economics, and a reputation of healthy living and recreation.


Under the direction of Community Futures Shuswap, funding was successfully assembled to assist with the cost of conducting a feasibility study to determine the overall economic, recreation, and environmental viability of the trail circuit and to assess regional community support for the concept. Funds were granted through Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Area E Economic Opportunities Fund to conduct a formal study process between September 2005 and September 2006. As well, additional local resources were leveraged totaling approximately $200,000, including the initiation of a pilot trail project designed to model and assess viability of the rest of the region.


The Trail Alliance has grown into a full development strategic organization that has successfully implemented new trail systems, signage, educational materials, guides, maps, and support services to establish a new driver of sustainable economic opportunities within the region. The Trail Alliance manages annual crews of 20 people and hires a full-time trail operations manager. Community Futures Shuswap has provided business development, project management, and funding development support through various funding programs and partnerships from 2005 to 2009.

The total project cost was $257,539. 2) The Columbia Shuswap Regional District also received $44,350 in SICEAI funding to implement a Shuswap Tourism Marketing Strategy. This integrated marketing communications package included billboard signs on the Trans Canada Highway, touring maps and signage, hiking/biking brochure maps, the Shuswap Bird Watching Guide, the Shuswap Visitor’s Guide, the Shuswap Tourism website, agri-tours/heritage brochures, and a Shuswap CD and video. 3) The City of Salmon Arm received SICEAI funding in the amount of $437,500 to develop a waterfront walkway. The elevated walkway infrastructure project anchors residential and commercial development at either end of the walkway. This initiative also builds on the successful bird watching tourism industry along the shores of Shuswap Lake and is key in expanding the existing trail system in the downtown area. Total project cost was $1,043.170. 4) Austrian Style Woodwork Ltd., in Falkland, BC was the successful recipient of re-payable SICEAI loan funds to complete a 4,000 sq. ft shop expansion and purchase new equipment to expand their custom kitchen cabinet business into a new market with the building of European tilt and turn windows.

The Mary Thomas Cultural And Heritage Sanctuary Project


The Mary Thomas Cultural Centre and Heritage Sanctuary Project will create a hub of economic activity in the Shuswap region, benefiting the Neskonlith Indian Band members and the entire Shuswap region. With stunning natural beauty as a backdrop, and extensive indigenous history and active natural systems as a foundation, the Centre will offer an authentic and extensive range of traditional First Nations culture, art, education, and activities for tourists and the local population interested in the aboriginal and ecological experience.


Local, national, and international visitors will be offered opportunities to experience Secwepemc ceremonies, stories, legends, and their deep understanding of the land. Visitors can participate in activities such as eating traditional food, attend workshops to learn how to make a traditional birch bark basket, native drum or traditional bullrush mat. Guests will also be offered guided interpretive tours through the traditional plant nursery and the trail system in the Salmon River Delta where they will learn about the inherent ecological/natural value of the delta region, including traditional plants, medicines and traditional sustainable resource management practices. Guides and instructors will provide visitors with an intimate knowledge and incomparable insight into local First Nations customs, history and environmental stewardship.

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