Lower Kootenay Band
Ktunaxa (pronounced ‘k-too-nah-ha’) people have occupied the lands adjacent to the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of BC for more than 10,000 years. This singular nation has a distinct language unrelated to any other in the world, and created the Sturgeon-Nosed Canoe, which is unique in North America. Its people enjoyed the natural bounty of the land, seasonally migrating throughout their traditional territory to follow vegetation and hunting cycles and obtaining all food, medicine and material for shelter and clothing from nature.
The traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation covers approximately 70,000 square kilometres within the Kootenay region of south-eastern British Columbia and historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.
Now, the Nation comprises four Canadian and two US bands, including the Lower Kootenay Band – Yaqan Nukiy –located just four kilometres south of Creston. The community is home to about half of the band’s 212 citizens, and it hosts the annual Yaqan Nukiy Traditional Pow-Wow every May long weekend, in conjunction with Creston’s Blossom Festival.