Erosion

Whose Land is This, Then?

Here’s the shore of Okanagan Lake in Vernon. Everything between the creek in the middle of the image and the green lawn in the foreground is part of Priest Valley Indian Reserve #6.

It is part of the Okanagan Indian Band Lands at the end of the next arm of the lake, separated by many miles of expropriated land. That’s history, but what is this? History in the making?

Land for the birds, at any rate. The really interesting question, though, is: Who does the new land belong to? The area with the blue arrow could be said to belong to the homeowner who lost a beach to it. But the one marked by the green arrow? Off the coast of Priest Valley Reserve #6?

Is that new Indian Band land? Note how the whole beach area is silting up. It will all be filled in soon. Or does the new land belong to the City of Vernon, because it’s road sand that city work crews have dumped, mixed with snow, just upstream before the creek moves it all down to the lake? Might Canada be in the business of creating new land for Indigenous people?

3 replies »

  1. Yes, creating new land for indigenous people. I hope they don’t build condos on it, though. These spits of land are vital for a whole bunch of birds as feeding–or more likely–preening grounds and grit-gathering locations. May also fill a game pouch for the Okanagan nation if this were an ideal world.

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    • Right on! This reserve was set aside for bird hunting in the first place! There are a lot of birds there right now. The city, though, wants to kill all the geese because, apparently, Canada geese are an introduced species here! Apparently, they are native to all of North America, every square metre of it, except Vernon! Oh, and one other thing: beaches are for people, not geese. This is the wisdom of the Letters to the Editor in Vernon.

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  2. I’ll go a step further. I think that there are ways — a Minnesota person invented(?) a shotgun with a super-long barrel and low noise blast for killing geese within populated areas.

    Less stark, perhaps, why not control the population with live traps or nets. “Control the population” here means, “get food to eat.”

    By the way, since you’re German in background, I have recently become acquainted with the process of making goose breast schnitzel. Works for ducks, too.

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