- This event has passed.
Chief Robert Louie’ ‘State of the Nation’ address
October 4 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
There are still some last-minute tickets left for Chief Robert Louie’ ‘State of the Nation’ address Thursday.
The leader of the Westbank will speak at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce lunch at the Coast Capri Hotel.
Because regular registration for the luncheon is closed online, to access the remaining tickets you must call the chamber at 250-861-3627.
Louie is expected to cover a lot of ground in his keynote speech, including an update on the Westbank First Nation’s economy, the future direction of the Westbank First Nation, the economic impact of Indigenous businesses and how we can all continue the journey of Truth & Reconciliation.
The chief will also outline the impact of August’s McDougall Creek wildfire on Westbank First Nation.
The McDougall Creek Wildfire Recovery and Resiliency Centre is now open at the Governor’s Landing shopping centre that’s on Westbank First Nation land.
It’s open Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm or at 250-469-6327.
It’s designed to help people that lost their homes in the blaze.
In total, 189 properties were lost or substantially damaged, including 19 on Westbank First Nation Land, 69 in West Kelowna, 94 in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area (including Lake Okanagan Resort listed as a single property, however it had 150 units), four in Kelowna and three in Lake Country.
Louie is also a lawyer and businessman who owns Indigenous World Winery, Kelowna West Manufacturing Home Park and other companies.
He’s served as chief from 1986-96, 2002-16 and 2022 to now.
When he was chief in 2005, he was integral in negotiating the Westbank Self-Government Agreement that granted the bank control over land management, language and culture.
In 2006, Louie was named to the Order of Canada and in 2022 he won the Business Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Westbank First Nation has its own economic development commission and has become one of the wealthiest first nations in the country with 550 businesses operating on the five reserves covering 5,340 acres along Highway 97 between Kelowna and West Kelowna.
There are nine large shopping centres along the highway — that are packed with big box retailers such as Home Depot, Walmart, Canadian Tire, City Furniture, Andre’s Electronics, Winners, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs and Landmark 8 movie theatres.
Westbank First Nation has about 850 members living on site, but there are also 10,000 non-Indigenous people who live on Westbank First Nation land.