Neskonlith Band will host the main music event site for the "Sturgis North Motorcycle Rally & Music event" July 13 to 17 on reserve lands located on #3/50th Street in Salmon Arm, BC.
Chief Judy Wilson said "our Salmon Arm reserve community members have held meetings since early January to discuss issues and concerns in regard to the proposed Sturgis North event, and the members agreed last week for council to move forward on this initiative and to work jointly with event organizers to detail safety plans, traffic plans, insurance coverage, etc."
Wilson pointed out the event site is located on the upper bench reserve lands, and an environmental assessment is to be conducted to ensure no long-term impacts of the proposed event site. Sturgis North has willingly complied with all Neskonlith Band requests, many of which were already being contemplated.
Councillor Tammy Thomas added "Early involvement of the band was key. The organizers provided information we requested and provided access to their lawyers and key committees for any concerns we had."
The Sturgis North is a pilot partnership arrangement with Neskonlith Band that will also feature a Cultural Village on the grounds entitled "Salute to the Secwepemc" to educate and promote Secwepemc Nation's history and culture.
Both Sturgis North and the Neskonlith Band believe this partnership will be a long-term relationship.
The "Secwepemc Village" provides the band an opportunity for storytelling, drumming, a First
Nation market, and various other interesting and educational attractions for the visitors, which brings an interesting and educational addition to the Sturgis North event. It is anticipated this will generate revenues for both Band members and community organizations.
The partnership is an example of how First Nations Bands/organization and non-First Nations businesses come together for opportunities that each can access and achieve a positive outcome.
Councillor Rock Denault underscored that "Neskonlith Band will be involved on the planning board level, various committees, which provides direct input to all organizational planning for safety, traffic, etc. We were respectfully engaged and involved in the overall process that made all the difference in this initiative and that will ensure its success."
Councillor Joan Manuel emphasized "it's a great opportunity and joint business venture for our community and surrounding areas. Also, true engagement at all levels and collaborative planning will make it a safe, enjoyable, successful event for our communities and the public in attendance."