May 25, 2022

After nearly two years of extensive community engagement, Westbank First Nation (WFN)’s 2020 Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) was unanimously approved by its Membership at a vote held May 5, 2022.

Through a Member-led process, the vision and goals for the future of WFN were identified, followed by action items to ensure the plan’s success.

“The CCP is a plan for WFN Members, by WFN Members, and is the main guiding document for the WFN Government intended to direct all other plans, regulations, projects and programs,” says WFN Council. “Guided by Members with community and resident support, the CCP looks to utilize traditional knowledge, teachings, practices, and governance to develop and propose principles or actions towards achieving a desired future vision.”

WFN’s framework for community consultation was based on the enowkinwixw principles of respectful dialogue and consensus building.

“Every Member has a voice that matters and every voice has a say in how our community should be run,” says Aaron Derickson, WFN Member and WFN Community Engagement Lead for the CCP.

Notable action items identified in the 2020 CCP include developing a family or community wellness survey and lifecycle care program, as well as updating WFN’s Housing Strategy and looking to create training and mentorship programs, a culture and language department, an Elders’ long-term care strategy, and stewardship or environmental laws and policies to protect areas of importance. These items were noted as foundational and ones which Members prioritized over others. In addition, three foundational planning areas were identified including sustainability, culture and language, and communication. These foundational areas have always been important to WFN’s Membership, and the CCP helps sharpen their focus.

“The Community-engagement process drew out some key items of importance. After the planning team worked tirelessly, sorting through over 2,000 comments, it became clear what the community was saying. Three major themes were identified as high priority: self-determination, ownership and responsibility,” continued Derickson. “Through Membership feedback, the vision statement for the new CCP was interpolated:

WFN is a strong self-governing community that honours our responsibility to our people, lands, waters and resources. We practice our culture, rights and self-determination throughout our territory, to empower our people to be the best version of themselves and for the generations to come.

I can’t tell you how proud I was to see all of our members come out and lend their voice.”

The CCP is intended to be a living document that can be regularly updated to reflect the community's changing needs, and is required to be updated every five years per WFN’s Community Plan Law.

As outlined in the CCP, over the next several years, the basic principles and actions will be reflected and implemented through administrative and departmental work plans backed by more detailed plans and policies. WFN’s Administration will be responsible to report annually on the progress of the CCP actions to Membership and Council.

“The 2020 CCP reflects WFN’s growth over the past decade and ensures future growth is in alignment with Membership’s values and visions,” says WFN Planners Lindsay Allman and Kary Fell, who led the Member engagement process and were instrumental in the bringing the CCP together. “The plan will guide WFN over the long-term towards sustainably managing its social, cultural, economic, and land use interests within WFN’s Administrative Area and traditional Okanagan Nation territory.”

The 2020 CCP resulted from four rounds of engagement from September 2020 until May 2022, which included 3,078 survey responses and 265 Members providing 1,842 unique comments at open houses.

“Our community has come a long way since the early days of community planning, thanks to Members and leaders past and present,” says WFN Council. “Limlemt to all who showed up to be a part of these essential discussions and for the continued dedication to working together to ensure future generations are in a stronger position due to our efforts and actions of today.”

For more information or to read the full WFN 2020 Comprehensive Community Plan, visit

About WFN
Westbank First Nation (WFN) is a proud leader in Indigenous self-governance, providing progressive economic, cultural and social services for its Members, residents and businesses. One of eight Indigenous communities that form the Okanagan Nation Alliance, WFN is located within the beautiful South Central Interior of British Columbia, minutes from Kelowna. With a history rich in culture and tradition, and a population of over 850 members and 10,000 residents, WFN places high value on the responsible management and protection of its resources, environment and watersheds.