It’s official.

The Upper Nicola Band has added a 16 hectare piece of land to its number three reserve along Glimpse Lake which holds cultural and spiritual significance to the community.

The acquisition is part of a land swap of equal size with the provincial government, exchanging land required for the Douglas Lake Road right-of-way to the provincial government for the Crown land along the lake.

“It doesn’t happen very often,” Upper Nicola Chief Harvey McLeod said about adding land to the band’s reserves.

The Upper Nicola Band will host a celebration at Glimpse Lake this Monday commemorating the land acquisition as part of its Aboriginal Day celebrations ahead of the 21st.

“Glimpse Lake is a gathering place for our community, and it holds some cultural and spiritual, and fishing importance to our community,” McLeod said.

The transaction enables the province to pave a three-kilometre stretch of Douglas Lake Road that runs into the reserve three years after committing to the project via a Memorandum of Understanding with the band.

The Ministry of Transportation has already begun straightening out portions of the road in preparation of paving, McLeod said.

The paving of the road is seen as an improvement to the quality of life on the reserve.

“It took us a long time to get to this day, but it is an improvement to our lifestyle [providing] easier access into our community,” McLeod said.

He said he also sees this as a new, positive relationship with the government.

The paving of the road is on schedule, he added.