Who are the Ktunaxa?
Ktunaxa (pronounced ‘k-too-nah-ha’)
people have occupied the lands adjacent to the Kootenay
and Columbia Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia,
Canada for more than 10,000 years.
The Traditional Territory of the Ktunaxa
Nation covers approximately 70,000 square kilometres (27,000
square miles) within the Kootenay region of south-eastern
British Columbia and historically included parts of Alberta,
Montana, Washington and Idaho.
For thousands of years the Ktunaxa
people enjoyed the natural bounty of the land, seasonally
migrating throughout our Traditional Territory to follow
vegetation and hunting cycles. We obtained all our food,
medicine and material for shelter and clothing from nature
- hunting, fishing and gathering throughout our Territory,
across the Rocky Mountains and on the Great Plains of both
Canada and the United States.
European settlement in the late 1800s,
followed by the establishment of Indian Reserves, led to
the creation of the present Indian Bands.
Ktunaxa citizenship is comprised of Nation members from seven Bands located throughout historic traditional
Ktunaxa territory. Five Bands are located in British Columbia, Canada and two are in
the United States. Many Ktunaxa citizens also live in urban and rural areas "off reserve".
For contact information for each of
these Bands, please click here.
The Ktunaxa language is unique among
Native linguistic groups in North America. Ktunaxa names
for landmarks throughout our Traditional Territory and numerous
heritage sites confirm this region
as traditional Ktunaxa land.
Shared lands, a rich cultural
heritage, and a language so unique that it is not linked
to any other in the world make the Ktunaxa people unique