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News Release - June 15, 2018

City of Merritt & Surrounding Bands Striving to Strengthen their Connections

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MERRITT – For the first time, the surrounding bands met with the City Council of Merritt for a community to community feast and roundtable.

With a primary goal of strengthening the connections with one another, this historical moment was shared with good conversation, good laughs and of course good food. Mayor Neil Menard of the City of Merritt called this time together the first time that there was a representative from each band to get together with the City Council. In Menard’s words, “this evening was history making to share this evening with the Chiefs and Councillors and to move forward with trust and collaboration.”

After this event, all attendees are looking forward to future endeavors. “This historic evening has given a good beginning for the future work that the surrounding bands and City Council to thrive together,” said Chief Lee Spahan from the Coldwater band.

“It was great to have a round table discussion with the Mayor and Council to reconnect the relationship with the Nicola Bands,” said Councillor Brian Holmes from the Upper Nicola Band. “We are looking forward to building that relationship.”

Moving forward, this strong connection hopes to promote working together with all of the surrounding bands and the City Council. This profound relationship can be utilized in various activities as Chief Marcel Shackelly from the Nooaitch Indian Band stated, “to work on areas that can benefit all areas such as youth activities.”

“It’s so important for all of us to get to know each other better and work together,” said Chief Aaron Sumexheltza from the Lower Nicola Indian Band. “I look forward to us working towards a prosperous future for all of us in the Nicola Valley.”

From all attendees, this was discussed as the first of many events to maintain this connection. Chief Jordan Joe from Shackan Indian Band stated “it’s a great step, and one of many to keep moving forward.”


Shawn Boven,      
Chief Administrative Officer
City of Merritt
City Hall: (250) 378-4224
Direct Line: (250) 378-8613