Investing with Lower Kootenay First Nation



Region:  Kootenay

Nation:  Ktunaxa

Historically and since time immemorial, the Lower Kootenay Band, locally known as Yaqan Nukiy were the original inhabitants of the Lower Kootenay area. The name Yaqan Nukiy literally means “where the rock stands” and refers to an important place in the Creston Valley.

The Yaqan Nukiy is one of four Canadian and 2 USA bands which make up the Ktunaxa Nation (pronounced ‘k-too-nah-ha’). The other 4 Canadian Bands formed the Upper Kootenay portion of the Ktunaxa and are all located in British Columbia – Akisqnuk near Windermere, Aqam near Cranbrook, and Tobacco Plains near Grasmere. The USA Bands are called tribes and are the Confederated Salish Kootenai near Elmo, Montana, and Kootenay Tribe of Idaho at Bonner’s Ferry.

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.

The people of Yaqan Nukiy speak the Ktunaxa language which is one of the eleven original aboriginal language families in Canada. The language is isolated and is not related with any other language in the world.

Prior to European contact, the people were semi-nomadic and traveled great distances within the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory. The waterways, primarily the Kootenay River formed the existence and link to all the communities of the Ktunaxa Nation confirmed by the Ktunaxa creation story. Historically, before man was made, the land was inhabited by animals and animal spirits. The animals and spirits whom the Creator (Nupika) created, told these animal spirits that they would have to move up above to be our guardians and that only their forms in spirit, language, songs and dances could be left behind to help the Ktunaxa people in the territory. It was then and during the making of the human beings that the Creator made the sacred convenants that the Ktunaxa people have to live and abide by in order to survive in this territory which Nupika has placed. Connection to the Kootenay River is highly regarded as the transformation route by Man Spirit (kikum) whom travels the waterways by canoe and makes his home in Kootenay Falls to give healing, mental and physical spirituality and to bring messages when called upon by spiritual leaders and medicine men.


Latitude: 49° 03' 44".906 N
Longitude: 116° 30' 52".505 S

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