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.”