Ktunaxa Nation Council extends closures through May 1

Ktunaxa Nation Council extends closures through May 1

Ktunaxa Traditional Territory – The Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) administration has decided to extend the public closure of its main building through Friday, May 1, 2020.

The decision reflects the B.C. government’s formal extension of the provincial state of emergency through to April 28, 2020.

Shawna Janvier, Chief Administrative Officer of the KNC, said the decision is necessary to reduce the potential for COVID-19 virus transmission as much as possible.

“We’re following the provincial lead and are being extremely cautious,” Janvier said, “because we know how quickly the virus can spread.

“Our staff are doing a great job of working remotely; projects are still getting done and it’s very impressive to see how everyone is adapting.

“Our frontline staff are also still at work,” she said. “We’re immensely grateful to the health care and social sector support staff who are ensuring community members can access essential services.”


AGA is cancelled for 2020

Ktunaxa Nation cancels Annual General Assembly

Ktunaxa Traditional Territory

The Ktunaxa Nation has cancelled its Annual General Assembly (AGA), which was to take place on July 14 to 16 in the Yaqan Nukiy community near Creston, and was to be hosted by the Lower Kootenay Band.

“We agreed we must cancel the event, given the risks and demands it would place on staff and community members, especially the risks associated with congregating in groups,” said Shawna Janvier, Chief Administrative Officer of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, (KNC).

“We’ve heard the message loud and clear,” Janvier said. “Attending even small gatherings increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. We pray and hope the threat of the virus will have vanished by this July, but that’s out of our hands. We have to do the right thing.”

Janvier said it’s important to protect everyone in community, with particular consideration to those who are more vulnerable to the virus, such as Elders, those with chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and those who have compromised immune systems.

The AGA is usually a time when Ktunaxa Nation citizens and guests gather in the spirit of collaboration and celebration, with camping, day camps, a pow wow and meetings, both formal and informal.

“Citizens living here in ?amak?is Ktunaxa, and from far away, join together for a weekend’s worth of connection,” Janvier said. “This means a lot. I know people will miss seeing everyone. It’s a family time for sharing and being close. But I know everyone will be even happier to see each other next year, when the danger has—if we all do our part and if all goes well—passed.”

The KNC will prepare and deliver information materials to citizens in lieu of the meeting. “We’ll be sending out an annual report,” Janvier said, “and will be working with communities to assist in sharing the news they want to highlight. Who knows? Maybe everyone will have so much practice socializing from home by then that we’ll be able to celebrate together online. We’ll see what we can come up with.”

Art Challenge

Download (PDF, 1.36MB)

CALLING Indigenous people in Ktunaxa ?Amakis:
Let’s see your ART, VIDEO, SEWING or ANY kind of CREATIVE project that talks

Here are some words & terms in Ktunaxa you can include:

yapta̓ wsaqa: To be staying apart from
others (such as a member of a family living
away from the rest of the family)
kin ʔiktquyiⱡik?: Did you wash your hands?
ʔiktquyiⱡam: Wash your hands
k̓iktuquni·muⱡ: Soap
ʔaqaⱡxuniyam: Health
ksukiⱡxuni·nam: Good health
sa·nikⱡuʔmu: For there to be an epidemic
of a particular disease in a village or camp.

Submit your entries to Tanya Francis-Stanley through the KKCFSS
Facebook page, or by emailing her at tfrancis@ktunaxa.org.
You may win a gift card for your submission!
Deadline to submit Wednesday, April 15 @ 4:30 p.m.
0-5 :: 6-10 :: 11-19 :: 20-25 :: 26-36 :: 37-47 :: 48-60 :: Golden Age 60+


How to reach out for help

For those of us staying at home, in isolation, or in quarantine, it can be a challenging time.

If you or someone you know is struggling during this time, please consider reaching out to Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child & Family.

We still have family support, early years, counselling and respite care services available, as well as many other ways to help.

Every aspect of your health and wellness is vital, especially during extraordinary times such as these.

You are not alone during this time, there are people who will walk with you.

Please see the contact numbers below for your reference:

Office Phone During Normal Hours (8:30am – 4:30pm): 250.489.4563
**After Hours (Child Protection): 1-800-663-9122 or 310-1234
RCMP: 911
Crisis Line: 310-6789
Suicide Crisis: 1-800-784-2433

**In the event of a child protection concern on weekends from Friday at 4:30pm to Monday at 8:30am, please call the after hour’s kids help line at 1234.
A social worker in your community will be able to attend under the direction of the province.**

Stay safe and make healthy decisions!

Ktunaxa Nation Council extends closures through April 17

Ktunaxa Nation Council extends closures through April 17

Ktunaxa Traditional Territory – The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on April 14, 2020.

Given this news, the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) has decided to extend the public closure of its main building through Friday, April 17.

“We’re grateful to our essential services staff who are continuing to provide services in the community,” said Shawna Janvier, CAO of the KNC. “Those who are still on the job, for example at our health centre, at Operation Street Angel, and at Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services, are showing an incredible level of compassion and professionalism right now.”

Janvier said the nation council is hoping for the best, while preparing for additional challenges.

“We’re working closely with the RDEK, our regional emergency operations centre, to share information that will help us track community needs and be in the position to respond effectively,” she said.

“We’re also listening to our community nurses, who tell us how we can support the essential work they are doing.”

To that goal, the KNC has started a Volunteer List.

“The list is a call to the wider community, to people who are able to assist with the delivery of essential items to families who are quarantined,” Janvier said. “Things like groceries and prescriptions.”

To register as a volunteer, people can email EOCPlans@ktunaxa.org, or call 250-489-2464.

Janvier said she hopes to be able to announce a return to full services and open doors as soon as possible. “This is an unprecedented event in our lives,” she said. “The entire world has been called to participate in simple measures that can stop a deadly disease. But these simple measures we know can cause hardships for many. We intend to be here on the other side and be part of helping our communities get back on track.”

Traditional Wellness

Traditional Wellness

As this initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic settles, it may bring up a lot of different emotions.

When we are in the initial “response,” sometimes called “shock,” we are often tuned out of our emotions. As the “shock” starts to wear off and we begin to become re-oriented into the present, the fear, worry, sadness, relief, peace, happiness, grief, can all begin to trickle into our minds.

The good news is, all these emotions are normal and none of them are permanent.

This is an “emotion-cycle” that will repeat itself. However, there are things you can do to help increase the visitation time of the “good feeling” emotions–like love, peace and joy–and decrease the length of the visitation time of the uncomfortable emotions, such as sadness and worry.

Reclaiming Traditional ways of living is something that will support our resiliency and wellness and increase the amount of time that we experience our “feel good emotions.”

Traditionally, our ancestors lived as a family unit (approx.5-15 people), in small indoor spaces, (in my Nation, a Kekuli (pit house), for example), and spent most of their awake time outside, gathering food, playing games, participating in spiritual practices, preparing food, along side the young ones, preparing them to take on these roles when they grow up.

This harmonious, nature-based living brought our ancestors the gifts of happiness, joy, pleasure, contribution, purpose, creativity, and health, to name a few.

We can experience the same gifts if we embrace some of the ways of living that they did.

It may sound like the “Traditional” way of living is out-of-step with our current world, but is it?

Even though this is a horrible time in many ways, we can still embrace some of the opportunities it presents to support our wellness as we move through these hard times.

While much of the world is on “hold” and we are practicing social distancing, it is also a good time to practice reclaiming Traditional ways of living. In many ways this is the perfect circumstance to reclaim this way of life.

We are encouraged to live closely with our immediate family; stay in and around our homes, many of us within my Nation are close to Nature, it is right outside our door-steps; and best of all, spring is coming–it is great time to get outside.

Some ideas to reclaim Traditional ways of living in today’s times could be:

  • Fishing: My husband and I caught some big trout at Adams River with a hook and worm!
  • Hiking: I recently Hiked Enderby Cliffs, but you definitely need ice-track grips.
  • Picnics (even if it’s in your yard): We took our normal lunch outside on a sunny day; it was nice!
  • Food and medicine gathering: I recently gathered pine needles for tea.
  • Playing games: I played capture the flag with my family on our property.
  • Making something (i.e. play-fort, garden): My sister just fenced a garden with scrap cedar they had lying around.
  • Noticing the animals around you: For the first time ever, I went bird watching.
    I am trying to learn which birds make which noises. It was really relaxing.
  • Staying active: I have been doing home workouts, there are so many good and free ones on Youtube.
  • Making meals: Try something new, make a meal with the whole family contributing in some way; or take the food prep outside to a fire pit or BBQ? I’ve been having more hot dog roasts (veggie dogs for me) 😊.
  • Watching movies or reading: Storytelling was used to pass on culture and teachings. There are many good documentaries, movies, and books that share the wisdom of cultural and teachings. A short time ago, I read a book on wild Indigenous foods in our area.

These are just a few ideas that we can do to reclaim Traditional ways of life in our current times, that share a similar purpose to those of our ancestors’ ways of living, that led them to having very full, happy, and healthy lives.

If anyone one has any other ideas that they are doing, please share with your friends and loved ones.

All My Relations,

Shawna Biron,

Shawna Biron, MA, RCC, is one of the Ktunaxa Nation’s mental health wellness counsellors.
You can reach her at info@shawnabiron.ca or by calling 250-517-0306.

Visit her website for more articles.