KNC thanks golfers and sponsors of 2022 Charity Golf Tournament


June 30, 2022

Ktunaxa Nation Council thanks golfers and sponsors
KNC Annual Charity Golf Tournament a roaring success after two-year hiatus

ʔa·kisk̓aqǂiʔit (Cranbrook): The Ktunaxa Nation Council was pleased to host the 20th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on June 16, at beautiful St. Eugene Golf Resort. A total of 148 golfers played 18 holes of golf then enjoyed a gourmet dinner in the resort pavilion.

“I wish to thank the golfers, sponsors, donors and volunteers who made this tournament a success,” said Kathryn Teneese, Chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council.

“The tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19 for two years in a row; so this one was very special.” (This would have been the 22nd annual tournament if not for the break due to the pandemic.)

The Charity Golf Tournament is a fundraiser for the KNC Traditional Knowledge and Language (TKL) Sector, which works towards ensuring the language and culture of the Ktunaxa people moves towards the forefront and is woven throughout all KNC initiatives in Lands & Resources, Education & Employment, Economic Investment and Social Investment.

“The TKL Elders Advisory working groups, TKL staff, and all those tending to Ktunaxa Language and Culture can benefit from the monies raised by the tournament,” said Teneese. “Now that pandemic restrictions are lifting, we will be able to enjoy more in-person language and cultural activities together, and for that I’m grateful.”

The tournament also serves as a valuable networking event, with major organizational and business partners contributing as sponsors and sending teams, and with lots of Ktunaxa teams and players on the links. Many local businesses contributed items for the silent auction to support the event.

“I appreciate the generosity demonstrated by the sponsors, donors and volunteers,” Teneese said. “As a lead-in to Indigenous Peoples Day, the tourney brought us together to enjoy a game of golf, and that increases our capacity throughout the year in our language and culture programs.

“I would also like to extend a special thanks to the team at St, Eugene Golf Resort Casino, including Cindy Soukoroff, Head Golf Pro, who took care of so many details to help us get the tournament back on track, and Barbara Fisher, TKL Language Coordinator, who spoke and offered the prayer before the meal.”


Ktunaxa Nation, U.S.: Calling on Canada to address Kootenay watershed pollution that ‘crosses the line’


On June 7, 2022, the six governments of the Ktunaxa Nation met with United States government representatives to discuss watershed pollution from mining in Canada that ‘crosses the line’ into the United States. They met in Bonners Ferry, and are calling on the Canadian government to participate with the U.S. on a joint reference to the International Joint Commission to address water quality issues.

Ktunaxa Nation, U.S.: Calling on Canada to address Kootenay watershed pollution that ‘crosses the line’

Canada must uphold its commitment to Ktunaxa ʔaqⱡsmaknik (Ktunaxa people) by participating in a joint submission to the International Joint Commission (IJC)

ʔa·kisk̓aqǂiʔit (Cranbrook, B.C.):
On June 7, 2022, the six governments of the Ktunaxa Nation met with United States government representatives to discuss watershed pollution from mining in Canada that ‘crosses the line’ into the United States.

Nasuʔkins (Chiefs) and council members assembled from the six Ktunaxa governments of Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it First Nation [Tobacco Plains]; ʔakisq̓nuk̓ First Nation [Windermere]; Yaqan Nuʔkiy [Lower Kootenay Band]; ʔaq̓am [Cranbrook];  K̓upawiȼq̓nuk [Ksanka Band, Confederated Salish and Kootenay Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation]; and ʔaq̓anqmi [Kootenai Tribe of Idaho].

Joining them were representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The group met on the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho’s reservation lands in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

“We met with our sister Tribes and the U.S. Government to discuss the next steps in addressing the pollution issue in the Kootenay watershed,” said Nasuʔkin Heidi Gravelle, of Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it First Nation. “The governments of the Ktunaxa Nations formally asked the Government of Canada to participate in a joint reference to the International Joint Commission, which would help ensure the matter is addressed objectively.”

The Nation’s request has been outstanding since December of 2021. Despite encouraging early conversations with the Nation, by April of 2022, Global Affairs Canada indicated it would no longer be considering an IJC reference. The Ktunaxa Nation responded swiftly with a letter calling on Canada to reverse its decision and resume engagement on the reference.

To date, no formal response to the Nation’s letter has been received.

In contrast, on June 8th, the U.S. Department of State reaffirmed  the U.S. government’s commitment for IJC involvement, saying it would underscore “… a commitment to strengthening Nation-to-Nation relationships by listening to Tribal priorities and respecting Tribal sovereignty.”

The Department also said the IJC would be a next step in meeting “the need for impartial recommendations and transparent communication.”

The IJC is an impartial body made up of three commissioners from each respective country.

It provides the expertise and institutional independence to review, assess, and provide recommendations to address the pollution that affects the Kootenay watershed.

“It is the view of the Ktunaxa governments that the IJC reference is of great value,” said  Nasuʔkin Gravelle.

“Generations of mining impacts in the Kootenay River watershed have led to a violation of the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty between Canada and the U.S. Now we’re demanding meaningful dialogue in accordance with Canada’s own affirmations that ensure its laws and behavior are consistent with implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

“The missing piece here is Canada’s seeming refusal to participate in a joint reference submission to get the ball rolling on viable, science-based, solutions,” Nasuʔkin Gravelle said.

“It’s a disappointment, and a sad day for reconciliation, when progress on dealing with the pollution of our waterways is blocked by a Federal government claiming to be ‘committed to reconciliation’.”

Meanwhile, the collaboration and respect the U.S. government has shown to the Indigenous governments did not go unnoticed.

Nasuʔkin Don Sam of ʔakisq̓nuk First Nation recognized the transparent and respectful dialogue as something Ktunaxa north of the 49th parallel want the Government of Canada to strive towards.

“There is both a science and a political problem here,” he said. “We are learning how those components are working together, and I look forward to us overcoming these challenges.”

Nasuʔkin Jason Louie, of Yaqan Nuʔkiy, shared the following remarks: “These waterways are known as the veins of the earth that connect our people. We travel by these waterways, from Yaqan Nuʔkiy down to this community [ʔaq̓anqmi]. All our communities are connected by the waterways. In human anatomy, if the veins are clogged then we are sick. You can, and you will, die. We are witnessing the death of these veins, these waterways. If these veins were clean, we would be in a different place in our communities.”

He added, “We consume the fish. At one time, we used to drink the water. We have never put waste into water, because water is life. The decisions that we make must be based in science, directed by science.”

Nasuʔkin Gravelle said the governments of the Ktunaxa Nation are calling on Canada to uphold its commitment to Ktunaxa ʔaqⱡsmaknik (Ktunaxa people) by participating in a joint submission to the IJC.

“Further, we call upon Canada to recommit to consent-based engagement with the Ktunaxa Nation on a joint IJC reference. There are vital reasons for it to proceed, including protecting the health of Ktunaxa ʔaqⱡsmaknik, restoring kyakxu (fish) health and water quality, and promoting transparent and Indigenous stewardship and ecosystem management.”


Trish Barnes

Ktunaxa Nation Council
Communications Support

Download (PDF, 305KB)

#Ktunaxahomelands launches on May 3

#Ktunaxahomelands launches on May 3

April 26, 2022

ʔa·kisk̓aqǂiʔit / Cranbrook Announcing the new #Ktunaxahomelands campaign, allowing locals and travellers to gain an understanding of how the Rockies and Kootenay waterways were formed, while appreciating the significance of the Hoodoos, all from a Ktunaxa perspective.

The Ktunaxa Nation Council Economic Investment Sector has developed a promotional campaign with partners including Cranbrook Tourism, Tourism Fernie and Tourism Kimberley since late 2020. Janice Alpine, responsible for Ktunaxa Tourism Engagement, recognized that the Kootenay Region, her homeland of Ktunaxa ʔamakʔis, was not a well-known location yet was part of “SuperNatural BC” and “Beautiful BC.”

Alpine recognized that the Ktunaxa story and perspective were needed components to support this campaign and were clearly missing.  “As we reclaimed our stories of the land, we can now share with our neighbours and visitors,” Alpine said.

“The visitors are looking for answers to their questions: Is there a tribe here, and what did they use this land (area) for? Essentially, right where they were standing.”

Alpine also recognized that her neighbours were looking for the stories behind the land formations where they chose to call their home.

“I am happy to present to you the #Ktunaxahomelands campaign, and hope it generates the brief understanding it was intended,” she said. “Without the support we received from our partners, including the DMOs, Columbia Basin Trust, Destination BC and Ktunaxa citizens, this would have never have become a reality.”

“Visitors to our region want to know the history of this place, and we felt we had a role to play in communicating the broader history of our region and its first peoples,” said collaboration lead Kristy-Jahn Smith, of Cranbrook Tourism. “We wanted to support the Ktunaxa in telling their stories in their words. I feel we have achieved that in this collaboration and look forward to more work together in future.”

The project spanned across the Ktunaxa Homelands, including the communities of Cranbrook, Kimberley, and Fernie.

We have been excited to be a part of this project led by Cranbrook Tourism, Janice and the Ktunaxa,” said Tourism Fernie’s Jikke Gyorki. “It’s important for tourism to support the telling of Ktunaxa culture, history and stories, while educating visitors about the land they play on and their stewardship role.”

For Tourism Kimberley’s John Hamilton, the understanding of how the region was formed through Ktunaxa’s perspective is beautiful and truly moving. “Exploring the lands through the eyes of the Ktunaxa Creation history brings the experience to another level and is extremely inspiring,” he said.

Locals and travellers are encouraged to learn and engage in the content found on the popular online magazine ZenSeekers.com.

“This project is exactly why ZenSeekers exists,” said Jim Barr, Seekers Media founder and co-producer on the #Ktunaxahomelands campaign.

“Founded in the shadow of Gord Downie’s passing, a key ZenSeekers’ mission is to support Canadian’s reconciliation journey. The video, photo and editorial from #KtunaxaHomelands will open the eyes and ears of audiences across Alberta and B.C., and give travellers (and locals) a new outlook on the land the next time they are hiking, biking or skiing in the area.”

A special #Ktunaxahomelands section on ZenSeekers goes live to locals and the travelling public, Thursday April 28, 2022.



Invitation #Ktunaxahomelands campaign kick-off May 3

During this 20- to 30-minute presentation, representatives from the #Ktunaxahomelands campaign will introduce the project and provide those in attendance with access to a signature #Ktunaxahomelands tool kit, making it easy to present Ktunaxa Creation on their websites or on social media.

Join us, you are invited to learn how you can participate in the #Ktunaxahomelands campaign.

#Ktuanxahomelands campaign launch is postponed until Tuesday May 3 at 10:3 0am MST / 9:30 am PST


Please join in on Tuesday May 3 for 10:30am MST

Topic: #Ktunaxahomelands campaign Launch

Time: May 3, 2022 10:30 AM MST / 9:30am PST

Join Zoom Meeting



Janice Alpine                                                                     Kristy Jahn Smith

Business Development/Tourism Engagement           Executive Director, Cranbrook Tourism

Ktunaxa Nation, jalpine@kabda.org                          kristy@cranbrooktourism.com




Ktunaxa Statement of Reconciliation


Ktunaxa Nation Statement on Reconciliation

ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa / East Kootenay:  

Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30 this year.

“This day can serve as a national day of remembrance for the victims of the Canadian Indian Residential School system,” said Smokii Sumac, Interim Senior Manager
Education And Employment with Ktunaxa Nation Council.

He added that there are a few key ways to honour this day, including some personal commitments:

  • Wear orange! You can learn more about why we wear orange by seeking out Phyllis Webstad’s story (Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation) of her orange shirt being taken at residential school.
  • Educate yourself, your family, and your community:
    Truth and Reconciliation is the responsibility of everyone living in Canada. A good place to start learning is nctr.ca (the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation) where you can read the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015).
  • Reflect on your own history, and relationship to Ktunaxa and/or Indigenous peoples wherever you live.
    Some reflective questions to ask yourself today and going forward:

    • “Who am I?”
      What is my family history? How did my family come to live where we live?
    • “What is my relationship to Indigenous peoples?”
      What have I learned about Indigenous peoples? Where have I learned it?
      How am I undoing any stereotypes or misconceptions I may have been taught?
    • “What is my responsibility in reconciliation?” We all have a responsibility in reconciliation. What are my unique strengths and gifts? How can I use them to contribute to strengthening relations with Indigenous peoples in the territory I live in?

“Please remember that we are still healing from the effects of over a century of the residential school system operating across Canada,” Sumac said.

“We appreciate respectful and open-hearted conversations and contributions, and we ask that you honour the experiences of residential school survivors, many still healing today, by keeping their experiences, stories, and hearts at the center of any action you take. Sometimes it is enough to simply listen and learn.”

The Ktunaxa Nation Council also released a Statement of Reconciliation that was created by a group of Elders, the Traditional Knowledge and Language Advisory Committee. It is as follows:


n̓ini ku qaɬwiynaɬa

[this is what is in our hearts].

qaqaʔni ma yaqaɬitknawaski

[what they did to us is true].


[say it all/tell the whole story].

mika yaqaɬitknawaski hu qayaqaɬqaȼaɬani

[despite what happened to us we made it through].

hu qaɬwinaɬani kuȼ sukiɬ ʔaqsɬmaknik̓ naɬa

[we want a good life for ourselves].

hawiȼkinin kȼmak̓ kyam ȼ ȼina·kinin

[hold the truth and go forward].

ȼinɬ qaqa [so be it]. maʔȼ kuktkinin!

[do not change this statement!]


As Sumac said: “There can be no reconciliation without truth. Take this day to learn and reflect on the true history of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, and go forward committed to doing better for all. Every child matters.”


Dates of Ktunaxa vaccine clinics

Starting September 13, everyone will be required to show proof of vaccination when accessing certain places in B.C., such as licensed restaurants.

Please see this website for details.

When did you get your COVID-19 immunization shot?

You’ll need the date of when you received a dose to receive the B.C. Vaccine Card.

Here is a list of where and when the vaccination clinics were in Ktunaxa communities and at the KNC Government Building in Cranbrook.

ʔaq̓am: 2 locations: ʔaq̓amnik School & ʔaq̓am Health Centre

March 18, 20
March 31
May 12
June 2,15,16

ʔakisq̓nuk: ʔakisq̓nuk Health Centre

March 19
May 11
June 10

Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʾit : Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʾit  Health Centre

March 6
Apr 19
May 27

Ktunaxa Nation Council Health Clinic

April 20
June 17
July 6

Visit to Qat’muk

Download (PDF, 1.66MB)

Ktunaxa Call to Gather: Columbia Lake East Side


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)

Focus Groups: Qat’muk IPCA

Talk about the future of Qat’muk

These Focus Groups are for Ktunaxa people.

Four regular sessions to choose from:

June 2, 2021 > 5 to 8:30 pm

June 3, 2021 > 5 to 8:30 pm

June 7, 2021 > 1 to 4:30 pm

June 12, 2021 > 10 am to 2:30 pm

One session for Youth

June 10 > 5 to 8 pm

Join by Zoom on your computer or phone.

See below for how to sign up…

Learn about the next chapter of Qat’muk through the establishment of an IPCA.
For more information on IPCA, please contact
Chad Luke (CMLuke@ktunaxa.org) or
Jim Clarricoates (jclarricoates@ktunaxa.org).

To sign up, please contact Melissa Teneese at MRTeneese@ktunaxa.org

Download (PDF, 3.3MB)

Download (PDF, 3.17MB)

Building Closure to extend until June 14

Update on Ktunaxa Nation Council COVID-19 Response

May 19, 2021
The Government building will be closed to most staff until June 14, 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 two-week time, 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 time, 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
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.

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

Open with reduced in-person services from 8:30 to 4:30 on weekdays.

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.

Social Sector Services Update

Social Sector staff who are able to work from home are currently 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.



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