Yaqan Nukiy: Ktunaxa Culture in the Creston Valley
Kisuk Kiyukit! Welcome to Yaqan Nukiy: the local Indigenous Community in the Heart of Creston Valley, also known Lower Kootenay Band, known as the Yaqan Nukiy. The name Yaqan Nukiy translates to "where the rock stands," signifying an important place in the Creston Valley.
As part of the esteemed Ktunaxa Nation, the Yaqan Nukiy people have inhabited the lands adjacent to the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers, as well as the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia, for over 10,000 years. The traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation spans approximately 70,000 square kilometers within the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia and historically extended into parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington, and Idaho.
The Yaqan Nukiy community holds a deep cultural connection to the Kootenay River and Lake wetlands, which have played a vital role in their lives. Fishing and hunting practices in the Creston Valley have been essential for sustenance. They are renowned for their distinct sturgeon-nosed canoes, specifically crafted for navigating the dense reed-filled wetlands along the Kootenay River on the valley floor.
Today, the Yaqan Nukiy community thrives and flourishes. Legend Logos Gift Shop offers a unique selection of indigenous-made products, and their Kootenay Lake tours provide visitors with a glimpse into their rich cultural heritage. The community's annual Pow Wow, held over the May long weekend, is a vibrant celebration of their traditions and customs. To delve deeper into the present-day Yaqan Nukiy community and explore its remarkable history, be sure to visit their community website and embrace the wealth of knowledge and experiences they offer.