On July 4th a group of Okanagan Indians will leave the Nk’mip Campground in dugout canoes, paddling south on Lake Osoyoos to Oroville, Washington in the U.S. The lake, which crosses the international border between Canada and the United States, is approximately 8 miles long. This border crossing canoe paddle is a symbolic protest of setting the 49th Parallel as the international border.
When the border was created, the Okanagan Nation was “divided” by political lines, although the Okanagan people north and south of the border do not recognize the border that separates the Okanagan Nation. The paddle begins at 9:00 AM and paddlers are expected to reach Veteran’s Memorial Park in Oroville mid-afternoon. A welcoming group will greet them, and after a brief rest, they will begin the paddle home.