The journey started on Aug. 26, 2019 at Kamasket Park Okanagan Indian Band Vernon and took paddlers along the Okanagan to Penticton ending on August 30, 2019. (RCMP handout)

The journey started on Aug. 26, 2019 at Kamasket Park Okanagan Indian Band Vernon and took paddlers along the Okanagan to Penticton ending on August 30, 2019. (RCMP handout)

Youth join Kelowna RCMP, First Nations for five-day canoe trip

The end-of-summer trip was part of a police recruit program

A number of youth from all across B.C. recently took a five-day canoe journey with the West Kelowna RCMP and local First Nation.

The journey began on Aug. 26 at Kamasket Park Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon and took 18 paddlers through the Okanagan to Penticton, ending on Aug. 30.

The event was hosted by the West Kelowna RCMP First Nation Unit, as well as the Okanagan Indian Band police and Penticton Indian Band.

“Our goal is to help build better community relationships with the RCMP and aboriginal communities, to further boost recruiting of aboriginal people in the RCMP and to bring education to aboriginal youth regarding the importance of water safety,” said Const. Rolly Williams.

Youth from as far as West Kelowna to Burns Lake signed up, including from Ttes Indian Band, Wetsuweten Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Kamloops and Westbank First Nation, Williams said.

READ MORE: Two men paddle from southern B.C. to Alaska

These kids are interested in joining the RCMP one day and will benefit from the challenges, team building, friendships and life skills they received during this journey.

To learn more about the expedition and RCMP recruiting visit okib.ca.