The flag at half mast at the Ktunaxa Nation Government Buildling in Cranbrook, Monday, May 31. Corey Bullock photo

Ktunaxa Nation Council acquires property near Columbia Lake to protect archaeological site

The Ktunaxa Nation has acquired a property near Canal Flats on the eastern shore of Columbia Lake that contains important archaeological values.

The 2.2-acre property carries significant cultural and archaeological values for the Ktunaxa Nation, according to Jesse Thomas, Ktunaxa Nation Council Archaeology Coordinator.

“The purchase of this property is in alignment with Ktunaxa Nation cultural heritage principles,” said Jesse Thomas, Ktunaxa Nation Council Archaeology Coordinator. “The preservation and stewardship of our archaeology sites is a priority and this purchase will ensure this site will be protected and managed in a way that is respectful of Ktunaxa cultural values and traditional teachings.”

“I would like to thank Ktunaxa Nation Leadership, particularly the Ktunaxa Nation Council Lands and Resources Council for acting quickly upon this opportunity as this timeframe was extremely short.”

Thomas said the property will be preserved and protected in its natural state.

“One of the significant sites for the Ktunaxa Nation is on that property itself,” Thomas said, noting the importance of the east side of Columbia Lake to the Ktunaxa creation story.

Thomas also credited the former land owners and the Village of Canal Flats for their stewardship of the property, and allowing Ktunaxa Nation citizens and youth access to the site for teaching in their oral tradition.

“They have known about it and so with Ktunaxa ownership, we look forward to keeping that relationship with the Village of Canal Flats and their people, because they have been very good to us,” Thomas said.