1990 – 2000

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Timeline

The Bands of the Ktunaxa Nation are administering Local Education Agreements with the public school districts through the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Independent School System Society. Support for Ktunaxa and Kinbasket learners is increasing.

Locally developed curriculum projects are being undertaken to provide better resources to the public and Ktunaxa controlled schools. Language and cultural programming is sorely under-funded, but efforts are being made to develop introductory learning materials for use in classrooms. An multi-year Alternate Funding Agreement provides consistent funding to KKISS for a five-year period, and this means that long-term planning with committed resources can be undertaken for the first time ever.

The KISS makes a presentation to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) during its consultations. The resulting report provides a very good representation of the Ktunaxa perspective on education. The Ktunaxa believe that the education system should serve to build the Nation, one person at a time, on a foundation of cultural knowledge and pride. A Ktunaxa presenter is quoted in the report:

“When we speak of education it is not only meant that the Aboriginal person must become better educated in the non-Aboriginal school of thought. The non-Aboriginal personal must be made aware of our history, our traditional lifestyle and the downfall and resurgence of our peoples as history has evolved today. This information must become a component in the teaching of all Canadians.”[5]

Although an understanding of Aboriginal issues in education is becoming evident, financial and political support for education is not increasing and academic results are still not improving.

The Ktunaxa communities are requesting funding from the Department of Indian Affairs to conduct psycho-educational assessments and other tests on their student population in order to gain a better understanding of the needs of their learners. The results of the assessments indicate a very high rate of learning disabilities among the school-aged population. Further assessment, in partnership with outside agencies, indicates that there is a high rate of potential for fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol affects. Not much is known about this disability at this time.

The NDP government in BC recognizes aboriginal title and it indicates its willingness to begin negotiations. The Ktunaxa immediately begin preparations to participate in whatever new process is established to deal with land claims and aboriginal title.

The Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Independent School System Society receives funding from the provincial Ministry of Health to undertake a community-based pilot project examining Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAS/E). This project becomes the Community Healing and Intervention Program (CHIP), the first community intervention program in FAS/E of its kind in Canada. The effects of FAS/E are of a magnitude that is unimaginable. The Ktunaxa Nation has, for the first time ever, an understanding of the reality of its human resource capacity. All programs and services must be redefined to acknowledge the unique circumstances of individuals with FAS/E. This will be a focus of the Nation for many, many years to come.

An intense effort is made by the KKISS to provide FAS/E information to all persons and agencies that will likely play a role in the life of an FAS/E individual; a focus is placed on the education and justice systems. FAS/E learners will generally not succeed in the ‘normal’ classroom environment without special considerations required to address their needs. In spite of the demonstrated need, there is no funding for supporting these learners within the provincial special needs funding categories unless they have a secondary disability that is medically diagnosed.

The Kootenay Indian Area Council changes its name to the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council and the member Bands continue to expand the services provided by the Tribal Council.

The Shuswap Band withdraws from the KKISS and establishes an independent learning centre. The Society’s name subsequently changes to KISS (Ktunaxa Independent School System Society). The KISS continues to act as the primary administrative office, advocate, liaison and resource development agency for education within the Ktunaxa Nation.

The Lower Kootenay Band makes the transition from a Band Operated school to an Independent School. KISS and the Lower Kootenay school system support each other’s initiatives regularly. Much progress is made in improving relationships with the public school districts, but federal and provincial policy continues to control First Nations’ education.

The KKTC and KISS participate in provincial and federal education initiatives with enthusiasm and with the continued hope of increasing the success of learners. The First Nations Congress and in turn the First Nations Summit both support education discussions and the Ktunaxa continue to strongly voice their concerns with education at these forums.

The B.C. Claims Task Force makes 19 recommendations to the First Nations Summit, federal government and provincial government, including among the recommendations the establishment of the B.C. Treaty Commission to oversee the treaty-making process.

The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) is formed and the Ktunaxa Independent School System nominates one of the founding members. The Ktunaxa participate in the committee until it becomes evident that the committee’s work is becoming political rather than technical in nature. The KKTC submits a Position Paper to the FNESC, requesting that the group provide communication and technical support to First Nations, and leav politics up the communities themselves.

The FNESC’s focus changes and the Ktunaxa representative becomes very actively involved with the committee work, eventually becoming Chair. The activities associated with this position and their impact on the work of the KISS move the discussion on education in the Ktunaxa communities to governance, rather than programming.

The B.C. Treaty Commission begins to accept claims and the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council file a statement of intent to negotiate with the B.C. Treaty Commission. The Ktunaxa Nation proposes to approach its treaty negotiations from a community development perspective in order to expand capacity while negotiations are taking place and to be prepared for implementation. It is clearer than ever to the Ktunaxa Nation that education is key in supporting the successful negotiation and implementation of a treaty. A capacity building strategy – the Individual Training Plan Process – is implemented to guide human resource development within the Nation.

Education funding is capped along with all funding to First Nations with the introduction of Financial Transfer Agreements by the federal government. The government is caps all funding and will develop a new formula for allocating this funding to the existing programs. Additional costs due to population increases and increases in provincial tuition rates will become the responsibility of the Band under these funding agreements, set for a five-year period. The Bands oppose this new funding regime. These new arrangements will replace all existing funding agreements. Only Bands and Tribal Councils will be eligible for funding under this new regime.

The federal government publishes their response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The government’s ‘Red Book’ is presented as an action plan and includes options for addressing aboriginal issues. These issues are described in four ways: renewing partnerships, strengthening aboriginal governance, developing new fiscal relationships and supporting strong communities, people and economies.

The KISS is no longer be a viable organization under the new funding regime. With the expiration of the Alternate Funding Agreement, the KISS experiences a severe reduction in the amount of funding made available to support education. This funding cut results in the immediate reduction of direct services to students within the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory. The momentum of 10 years of political and technical activity, coordinated by an accountable and conscientious Board and staff, is halted. The KISS begins to transfer the technical capacity to the communities to manage those aspects of education previously administered by KISS.

The KISS coordinates the interests of the Tribal Departments and develops a proposal to address community development following an integrated service-delivery model. This proposal is discussed in draft with federal and provincial representatives. The federal official believes that it is exactly what Gathering Strength is designed to support, however it is not the way the government intends to implement their action plan.

An Interim Measure in Education is prepared and tabled with the Ktunaxa Nation Treaty Table, in response to the reduction of funding for education within the Ktunaxa Nation at such a critical time in the development of the Nation. The Tripartite Table on Education (FNESC, Federal and Provincial governments) supports the idea of pilot projects to research education jurisdiction and the Ktunaxa indicate their desire to participate. The Ktunaxa are awarded funding to carry out a project on jurisdiction in education.

Who We Are

January 24, 2011 by  
Filed under

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 six 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”.

[mappress mapid=”4″]

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 and distinctive.

Thanking allies for their solidarity

Thanking allies for their solidarity with
Tḱemlúps te Secwe̓pemc and all Indigenous communities

Read the statement on the St Eugene Resort website.

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2021

ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa / Kootenay Region, B.C.: Since the announcement on May 27 that ground-penetrating radar had confirmed the remains of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, many non-Indigenous allies have expressed a desire to learn more about these institutions.

They want to know how to support efforts towards truth and accountability in regards to the impacts residential school institutions have had on Indigenous individuals, families and communities.

The Tḱemlúps te Secwe̓pemc, who are the home community of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, have issued a statement for the public outlining ways to support their community.

The statement can be found on their website at www.tkemlups.ca, dated June 3, 2021.

People can also visit Qwelminte Secwepemc: For the Children to find out about events and avenues to provide helpful support.

In ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa, the homelands of the Ktunaxa people, the Kootenay Indian Residential School operated as one such institution for 60 years, between 1910 and 1970. Thousands of children from many communities were forced to attend, subject to Canadian laws of the time.

By the year 2000, and after nearly two decades of effort by Ktunaxa Communities and partners, the site reopened as the St. Eugene Resort, welcoming visitors from around the world. The resort is within the Ktunaxa Community of ʔaq̓am, near Cranbrook, B.C.

St. Eugene Resort is owned by the five related Band communities of ʔaq̓am, ʔakisq̓nuk, Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʾit, Yaqan Nuʔkiy and Shuswap Indian Band, who, as a collective, are responsible for overseeing resort operations and of leading the cultural reclamation efforts that are made there.

“We are communities of survivors and descendants of survivors,” said Sophie Pierre, who is chair of the board of the resort, and who attended the residential institution as a child.

“We share our grief with Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc and other communities who have been impacted and who are faced with the overwhelming prospect of consultation, investigation, justice-seeking and healing that is ahead.”

In the past few years, the public has learned in more detail about the unmarked burials of Indigenous children who attended residential institutions and who never returned home. (215 in Kamloops, 104 in Brandon MB, 35 in Regina SK,)(UPDATE June 24: 751 in another location in Saskatchewan.)

As well, during Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation process, the commission was able to track thousands more missing children and unmarked burials around former residential institutions. The report on its findings is available online, and is called Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials.

Since the Tḱemlúps te Secwe̓pemc announced the confirmation of unmarked burials in Kamloops, non-Indigenous Canadians have expressed outrage, shock and sadness, and have asked for ways to help.

“The outpouring of empathy and public support for all of our Communities is appreciated,” Pierre said.

“In the case of St. Eugene, any initiatives will be guided by elders from our five Communities, with assistance from the Ktunaxa Nation Council. Community governments will reach out to the public with requests for support as these ways are determined.”

Pierre said that, while it is natural for non-Indigenous people to become more active in finding answers and demanding accountability from governments, churches and others who ran the residential institutions, the most helpful way to start is to learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and to support legitimate services that are set up to assist survivors.

“Please, remember that these discoveries can reignite suppressed grief and the effects of intergenerational trauma for many of us,” she said. “As survivors, we know there is a lot of information about how to help appropriately to be found online, starting with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report, and going from there.

“We encourage our allies to research the history of residential schools and Canada’s current treatment of survivors and communities, and also to know that we deeply appreciate their solidarity.”

Qwelminte Secwepemc: For the Children

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports

Calls to Action

History of the Kootenay Indian Residential School (St. Eugene Mission School)

Download (PDF, 245KB)

COVID-19: Response & Resilience

April 22, 2021 by  
Filed under

The Ktunaxa Nation Council government building is closed.

The Government building will remain closed until further notice.


April 16, 2021 (Update Sept. 8, 2021)
The building, including the gymnasium, is still closed to the public and not available for public rental.

This is to slow the transmission rates and protect Citizens, Communities and Staff.

During this period, staff will be working from home.
The only staff who may access the building will be Sector Directors, and some core staff in Facilities, Governance, IT, HR, Flexinet, Health Clinic and Finance.
Front door FOBs will be deactivated for everyone else.

Lands staff doing field work will access their vehicle keys and sanitation kits by appointment.

If you are Lands staff doing field work, please contact your manager to arrange access.

If you are staff and wonder whether your FOB will be deactivated for this period, please contact your manager.

If you are staff and you require building access during this period,
please contact your manager who will work with you to schedule an access time with Reception.
Email reception at KNCReception@ktunaxa.org.

Thank you for your cooperation as we prioritize Citizen, Community and staff health and safety.

Update on Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services

April 15, 2021
KKCFSS will continue to offer all services and remain open while operating
within the confines of the provincial guidelines and continue to follow COVID-19 procedures.

During this time all non-essential travel is prohibited for staff.

All meetings are to be done virtually, if possible.
Please use discretion as you know when a meeting and/or travel is essential.
Please remain diligent, wash and sanitize hands, wear masks, and keep your distance when communicating in common areas.

KKCFSS Website

KKCFSS (250) 489-4563
After-Hours 1-800-663-9122 or 250-310-1234
Akisqnuk (250) 342-6379
Lower Kootenay – RCMP: 911 (250) 428-7414
Crisis Line (250) 310-6789
Suicide Crisis 1-800-784-2433
Foundry Online 1-833-308-6379

Health Clinic Update

April 15, 2021
The Ktunaxa Nation Council Health Clinic is taking appointments via telephone,
and will continue to conduct health appointments by phone, unless in-person visits are absolutely required.
To set up an appointment, please call 250-420-2700.
Open with reduced in-person services from 8:30 to 4:30 daily.


Social Services Update

April 15, 2021
As the KNGB enters into the two-week shutdown, all Social Sector staff who are able to work from home are required to do so.

As we continue to respond to the impacts of Covid-19 within an ongoing overdose crisis within British Columbia, Scotty’s, Street Angel, Detox, and Recovery programs will continue to operate as usual, with all Covid-19 related precautions in place.

Enhanced screening and cleaning procedures will be made available at these facilities,
as we endeavor to minimize the disruption to our clients while continuing to ensure their health and safety, and the health and safety of our staff as well.


February 24, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

FNHA: What you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine

February 16, 2021
Ktunaxa Health Covid Information Session VIDEO

Ktunaxa Citizens were invited to join the free online information session
with Community Nurses Brittany Groff, Dallas Cardinal, Heather McDonald and Sara Chorney,
as well as other panelists from community health centres and guests from First Nations Health Authority.
The panel answered your questions about the vaccine, its efficacy, roll-out, access, and what to expect when you get vaccinated.

National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health
This features many resources, including podcasts, factsheets and other resources are intended to inform public health responses in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities throughout the country.

Mental Health Resources

Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society
Counselling Intake every Friday 10am-2pm
Address: 1007 Baker Street, Cranbrook BC
Phone: 250-489-4563

Foundry BC
Counselling services (online) at 1-833-308-6379

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
If you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be.

310Mental Health Support
Call 310-6789 (no area code needed) for emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health.

Kid’s Help Phone
Call 1-800-668-6868 to speak to a professional counsellor, 24 hours a day.

Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Service
Call 1-800-663-1441 (toll-free in B.C.) or 604-660-9382 (in the Lower Mainland) to find resources and support.

Other Mental Health Resources During COVID-19







Children and Youth Supports for COVID-19





Newsletter: Aboriginal Wellness Resources

Provincial Government Site: Managing Stress, Anxiety and Depression

The Hope for Wellness Help Line is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week to support members of your community experiencing emotional distress and may be reached directly by dialling 1-855-242-3310 or via online chat.

Reminder: 24-Hour Crisis Line
The KUU-US Crisis Line Society operates a 24-hour provincial aboriginal crisis line for
Adults/Elders (250-723-4050),
Child/Youth (250-723-2040),
Toll Free Line (18005888717).

Resources for Parents

“Little Learners” Coronovirus Booklet for Kids
Thanks to Tara at www.autismlittlelearners.com

A selection of online resources chosen by early years educators
Helpful information for families around talking to children about COVID-19, self-care tips, activities to do at home, how to wash our hands video, how to social distance and a grand 250+ activity idea list. Thank you to the team at Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Child and Family Services for these links!

Tips for Families

Daniel Tiger gets a cold!

Sesame Street: How to wash your hands

Kids Help Phone: How to cope with social distancing

Kids Out and About: 250 ways to keep your family sane

New Emergency Relief Support Fund and added service flexibility for parents of children with special needs.

Families throughout B.C. to benefit from enhanced digital library.

Current Support Summary

Download this regularly updated summary of available Federal and Provincial supports, including everything from CERB to GST credits, mortgage supports, and more.
Most recent update: May 15th, 2020

Also, see the Province of B.C.’s website.


New Testing Sites Open for Pre-Screened People:
There are six testing sites in ?amak?is Ktunaxa:
Sparwood, Cranbrook, Golden, Trail, Nelson and Revelstoke.

This is worth checking out if you’re experiencing worrisome symptoms and have used the online self-screening tool and called Health Link at 8-1-1 to be pre-screened by a health care professional.

Assembly of First Nations: COVID-19 Response Page
Includes video address from National Chief Perry Bellegarde

First Nations Health Authority: For COVID-19 response, FNHA (in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Office of the Provincial Health Officer and regional health authorities) supports communities through direct coordination of response to health and wellness related requests. FNHA dedicated COVID-19 website

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC): FAQs about COVID-19
Will support and empower Indigenous communities to, wherever possible during the COVID-19 event, independently deliver response and address the socioeconomic conditions in their communities. ISC supports Emergency Management on reserve through the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP).

For non health-related COVID-19 questions and requests (for example critical infrastructure, income assistance, Jordan’s Principle, emergency management, etc.) please email: aadnc.iscbccovid19.aandc@canada.ca.

Official News Releases

All Provincial News Releases can be found at: https://news.gov.bc.ca

All Interior Health News Releases can be found at: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/latest-news/

All Prime Minister News Releases can be found at: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/releases

Regional Resources

The Regional District of East Kootenay: Regional Snapshot
The most up-to-date source for regional news.

Provincial Resources

Click here for more information on COVID-19, latest updates on testing strategy, self-isolation, and personal and community protection.

For other medical-related questions, please call 8-1-1.

To take the online self-assessment tool.

For non-health information on COVID-19, call 1 888 COVID-19 or click here.

View the current Provincial Health Officer’s orders.

For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials

Do you know the difference between “self-monitoring,” “self-isolation” and “isolation?” Neither did we until we read THIS.

Federal Resources

 Up-to-date information on COVID-19 and Indigenous communities.

General information on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Awareness resources such as downloadable posters/infographics on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Financial Resiliency Links

Indigenous Services Canada: First Nations Community Guide on Accessing Additional Supports

Employment Insurance and Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Other local information:

Lab Hours
Tamarack Labs at the Tamarack Centre are reducing hours.
At-risk patients can visit between 8 and 10 am.
Not at-risk patients from 10 until 3.
Call ahead if you would like to determine your “at-risk” status.
Phone: 250-426-3775



2021 Malyan Michel Bursary Nominations

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under

Nominate a Ktunaxa Student by July 16th!

This $500 bursary was established in 2000 by friends and family of Malyan Michel (pictured above) to recognize deserving post-secondary students from the Ktunaxa Nation.

Malyan was a language and culture teacher and always encouraged people to return to school and further their education while still holding onto their Ktunaxa heritage.

This bursary has been awarded to 31 Ktunaxa Nation students totaling $15,500.

The funds for these bursaries are raised every year through raffles and 50/50 draws, as well as donations from our generous supporters. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the years.

Candidate must:
– be of Ktunaxa ancestry
– be an existing post-secondary student that will be returning to studies in Sept 2021.
– or be an adult 19 and over beginning or returning to studies in Sept 2021
– show an interest in their Ktunaxa language and culture.

Please see the PDF just below–it may take a few minutes to appear on your screen.
This is the nomination form with the details to complete your nomination.

Best of luck to all Ktunaxa students!

Download (PDF, 40KB)

Photo release forms are here!

Download (PDF, 33KB)

Download (PDF, 49KB)


Call for Nominations!

These Awards may look a little different this year, but they will be presented virtually or announced to winners this summer.

Please nominate a Citizen or Group in any of the six categories:

• Sports
• Education
• Arts and Entertainment
• Health
• Cultural Knowledge & Language
• Entrepreneurial / Business

And please consider nominating a Citizen for the Award in:
Lifetime Achievement

Information is contained in the form below.
Download the PDF and fill it in digitally using Acrobat Reader, then email the saved form,
or print the form out to fill in, then mail it to the address included.

Deadline for nominations is June 18, 2021.

[Nomination form takes a moment to load.]

Download (PDF, 311KB)