Residents invited to share thoughts on future of the region

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On January 16 Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust) announced that starting this April, they will be diving into more community engagement as they travel throughout the region, inviting Columbia Basin residents to have their say about the future of it. 

It is a chance to be heard and be a part of solution as residents are asked to imagine their best future as we live together throughout the unceded traditional territories of the Ktunaxa, Lheidli T’enneh, Secwepémc, Sinixt and Syilx Nations.

“This is an opportunity for everyone who lives in the Basin to share their perspective on how we can realize an even better future for this incredible region,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust president, and chief executive officer (CEO) in a January press release. “I am so pleased to invite residents to the conversations that will determine how the Trust can best support communities in the future. We all have a stake in this as residents, and that’s why we call this process ‘Our Trust, Our Future’.”

This initiative offers many ways for residents to provide input, including in-person open houses and facilitated conversations in more than 20 communities. In April and May these events will be opportunities for residents to explore their vision for the community and the region, collectively through the input of family, friends, neighbours and Trust Board and staff. 

Input can also be shared through virtual meetings and an online survey. After residents have had a chance to share their thoughts, the Trust will present the common themes from the feedback collected at three large regional events this May and June, which will be held in Cranbrook, Trail and Golden. 

These symposia will aim to bring Basin residents together to celebrate the region and create a further opportunity to discuss the themes that emerged from the earlier engagement. They will feature local food, visual art and music from Basin creators and entertainers, and an exciting keynote speaker—a well-known Canadian personality who will be announced later. The Trust strives to host inclusive, barrier-free, and accessible events, and encourages residents to reach out with any questions.