The Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB) announced that, effective October 14, 2022, it has become the owner of Tunkwa Lake Resort Ltd.
The First Nations community has closed the deal, giving them the rights to the resort located near Logan Lake, B.C.
“We are thrilled to become the new owners of Tunkwa Lake Resort and extremely proud to be able to welcome visitors to this beautiful destination within LNIB’s traditional territory,” said Kari Reilander, executive director of LNIB and interim CEO of the resort.
LNIB leadership came together discussing the possibility of a purchase after coming across the opportunity.
“We convened as a council whether or not we would entertain the possibility of a purchase,” said newly reelected LNIB Chief Stu Jackson. “After coming to an agreement we had our team reach out to express interest in the purchase of a resort.”
Tunkwa Lake Resort falls on the unceded territory of the Nlaka’pamux Nation which LNIB is a part of. The idea of buying back the land where people can continue to practice culture and tradition was one of the main driving factors behind the band’s purchase.
“Our immediate thought about this purchase was its socioeconomic impact on LNIB but the most important reason for our decision was to take this opportunity of taking some of our land back,” said Jackson.
“Our people occupied that land before it was a resort. I hear stories from our elders and knowledge keepers about their first experiences fishing on that lake and camping in that area for hunting, fishing, and picking berries and medicine. Much of our culture that we practice today were practiced in Tunkwa Lake historically as well.”
Located in the southern interior Thompson Nicola region of British Columbia, a short drive from Kamloops and Logan Lake, Tunkwa Lake Resort is a premier destination for British Columbians and guests from across the globe who come to enjoy the abundant opportunities it affords for hiking, biking, bird and wildlife viewing, and fishing for the world famous Kamloops rainbow trout.
“Tourism may not be new to the valley but it’s definitely new to our community,” Jackson explained. “We are wrapping our head around what tourism looks like in our community and what we need to do to make sure it succeeds. There is definitely a commitment from LNIB to ensure that resort becomes successful. The resort was built over a period of time and we understand that and we appreciate and respect it.”
The Resort’s current staff and management are being retained through the acquisition and will continue to operate the resort as they have done for decades.
Paul Patton, speaking on behalf of the resort’s former owners, said: “As an ownership group, we have worked extremely hard for the past 15 years to grow the resort and feel gratified that we are leaving it in the hands of local community with the deepest possible roots in the area.”
“The full purpose is for it to continue to be an attractive resort for everyone,” said Jackson.
“Hopefully in the future, we can look at a potential transition of some type, what that looks like remains to be seen. Ideally, we want this resort to be a showcase of LNIB and the Nlaka’pamux people, which could lead to indigenizing of the resort.”
The Resort, which is surrounded by Tunkwa Provincial Park, features waterfront housekeeping cabins, tenting campsites, RV sites, boat, kayak and paddle board rentals, and many other amenities.
A commemoration ceremony for the acquisition of the resort is being planned and will be announced at a later date.
For more details on Tunkwa Lake Resort, visit: https://www.tunkwalakeresort.com/