Nathan Kinbakset of the Splatsin First Nation stands in front of the sign he put up as a reminder that the popular tube launching spot is actually private property. (Kelsie Kilawna/IndigiNews)

Nathan Kinbakset of the Splatsin First Nation stands in front of the sign he put up as a reminder that the popular tube launching spot is actually private property. (Kelsie Kilawna/IndigiNews)

Splatsin Elder struggles to stop tubers from accessing his private property

Nathan Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area

Kelsie Kilawna

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse

As you drive down Cliff Ave. in Enderby, B.C., you will come to a bridge that passes over the rushing Shuswap River. On any given summer day, you are likely to see cars lined up all along the roadside on Splatsin First Nation.

Over the years, this area has become a hot spot for locals and tourists. It is also often used as a pit stop for tubers who launch upriver, as a spot to jump off and enter into town.

What most don’t know is that this entire riverfront — from the bridge all the way around — actually belongs to Splatsin Elder Nathan Kinbasket. He also owns the adjacent area that folks have been parking on.

Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area, which means his allotment has been approved by the Band Council, and he is able to lawfully use and occupy it.

He said he has been asking the public to access the beach on the other side of the river, and to respect that this is his land.

“All this straight on to where that sign is right there, that is all my property,” he said, while pointing north of the road.

“See where everybody is parking over here? They’re parking on my property, and last year they paved all this,” said Kinbasket, as he gestures toward his property line.

READ MORE: Take precautions if floating in Enderby

Kinbasket said the issue began when his grandmother allowed the public to access the waterfront because locals didn’t have a place to swim by the Cliff Ave. bridge that is adjacent to the Kinbasket property.

“The problem is, a long time ago, back in my grandmother’s day when we still had that wooden bridge here, she let the public come swim here,” he said.

“Because they didn’t have Barnes Park or anything, so out of the goodness of her heart, this was a swimming spot.”

The City of Enderby built the Enderby Lions swimming pool for the public at Barnes Park, a popular local spot for families. And, according to the City website, it is “one of the oldest public pools still operating in the province.”

However, all these years later, some of the locals and tourists still believe that the Kinbaskets’ land is for public access. He said they have resorted to destroying his many attempts at posting warning signs, clarifying his property is no longer open to the public.

“You know Indian Affairs gives you a lot of those signs right? The ‘no trespassing’ ones. I put those up and those are all gone,” Kinbasket said.

On top of the signage that Kinbasket said has been torn down multiple times, he has tried other measures that have gone ignored.

“We have dug a ditch so cars couldn’t go in there and we put posts in too, but some people came in with a 4×4 and pulled them right out,” he said.

IndigiNews reached out to the RCMP on the matter, but RCMP won’t release specific information “with regards to an individual or private property.”

Kinbasket is, however, trying to keep an open mind for his community. He said if he fences off this land to stop the parking on and recreational use of his land, then the community members who walk along the road will not have a safe place to walk.

“I was even thinking of putting posts all along here, but if I do that, then I’ll be putting the band membership at jeopardy from walking here. I don’t want them to get hit or run over,” he said. “I really don’t want to put anyone in jeopardy. So I’m stuck in between a rock and a hard place.”

Highway expansion issues

Kinbasket’s concerns don’t stop with public access issues. He is pursuing legal action with B.C. Highways for allegedly widening the road onto his property, which he said was done without his consent.

“The highway is encroaching,” he says, gesturing toward where the highways paved over his land. “Last year, they paved all this… they put this road here without anyone’s permission.”

Kinbasket said that, over the years, B.C. Highways has been slowly moving onto his private property without consulting him, including putting up signage on his property.

“The current road location is a complex historical issue. The sign was installed over a decade ago. The ministry is looking to work with the certificate-of-possession owner and Splatsin to resolve the outstanding concerns,” said Peggy Kulmala, a representative from B.C. Highways and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, via email.

In the meantime, hopeful of a resolution, Kinbasket said he will continue developing his property and renovating his home on the Splatsin First Nations.

More than anything, he said, he hopes his community will remain safe.

“My biggest fear is with all those cars parking here, there’s going to be one major accident and I don’t want that here.”

READ MORE: Shuswap pet nutritionist and raw diet advocate to be in a national magazine


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna’s 2021 preliminary budget proposes 4.27% tax increase

Proposed budget calls for eight new RCMP officers

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

The former BC Tree Fruits office building at 1473 Water Street has been sold. (Contributed)
BC Tree Fruits downtown Kelowna office sold for $7.5M

Historic building sold for 44 per cent more than the $5.2-million asking price

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Police responded to W.L. Seaton Secondary after reports of young man attempting to smash car windows in the student parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Facebook)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

Member of W.L. Seaton Secondary exposure Nov. 26

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)
Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Margaret Holm
HOLM: Better Bicycle Lanes

Margaret Holm writes about solutions to global warming

The newly opened Switzmalph Child Care Centre at Salmon Arm offers culturally enriched programs featuring the Secwépemc culture but is open to children of all heritages. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Video: Switzmalph Child Care Centre shares culture with Shuswap community

New daycare at Salmon Arm offers Secwépemc culturally enriched programs to children of all heritages

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Man walking in the winter downtown.
Dyer: The role of air tightness testing in energy efficiency

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Most Read