Community Papers

An opportunity to learn about the Ktunaxa and local heritage

On Friday, February 22, come down to an open house at the Ktunaxa Nation Council in the Central School heritage building. - Photo submitted
On Friday, February 22, come down to an open house at the Ktunaxa Nation Council in the Central School heritage building.
— image credit: Photo submitted


The Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) are inviting the public to an Open House on Friday February 22nd, between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., at their new office location in the Central School heritage building. The Ktunaxa Nation purchased the building in August 2012 and it is now home to over 100 staff members.

“We are very excited to invite the public into our new home, and provide an opportunity to learn more about the Ktunaxa,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair.

“For many, it will be the first opportunity to see the inside of the Central School Building since it was transformed into offices. Hundreds of area residents attended the Central School as students, including many Ktunaxa, and their only recollection is of classrooms and chalkboards.”

The Ktunaxa Nation is governed by a nine member Executive Council, which is comprised of the Chiefs of the four Canadian Ktunaxa communities and five Council Chairs which represent the sectors of the KNC: Corporate; Economic; Social Investment; Lands and Resources; and Traditional Knowledge and Language.

Each Sector will have a display highlighting their role within the Ktunaxa Nation, with staff there to provide information. Building tours will leave from the Gymnasium on a regular basis, showcasing many of the unique features, such as the original school bell and furnace.

As part of the Open House, we are also encouraging visitors to take part in documenting the history of both the Central School and the Ktunaxa,” continued Teneese.

“The Ktunaxa deeply value our collective regional history. We feel that it is important to ensure that we archive that history, and we would like to invite the public to bring any photos they may have that involve either the Central School or Ktunaxa. We will have a digital scanner set up at the Open House, and if you bring your photos in, we will preserve them for future generations.”

The purchase of the Central School Building represents a continuum of the history of Ktunaxa on its lands, and is symbolic of Ktunaxa efforts in moving towards self-governance.

The building, built in 1909, will become a centre for cultural gatherings and will house a Ktunaxa Nation Museum, for which resource planning is already underway. The building will also have a dedicated space for Ktunaxa Elders to discuss and share cultural values and history. The building will be home to many affiliated organizations including Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty Society, St. Eugene Mission Resort Holdings Ltd., Ktunaxa Holdings Ltd., Traditional Knowledge Language Enrichment Society, Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency (KABDA) and FlexiNET Broadband Inc.

In a recent analysis, figures show that the Ktunaxa inject more than $30 million annually into the regional economy. Most revenue is generated from consulting and professional services, along with various Ktunaxa owned enterprises, with less than 3% of core funding coming from AANDC (Department of Indian Affairs).

Ktunaxa 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. For more information on the Ktunaxa visit:

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