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Lower Kootenay First Nation

The Lower Kootenay First Nation are a First Nation based in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia, and are part of the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Tribal Council. The name Yaqan Nukiy literally means “where the rock stands” and refers to an important place in the Creston Valley. The Traditional Territory historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.

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The Lower Kootenay First Nation are a First Nation based in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. In the British Columbia Treaty Process They are part of the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Tribal Council.
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.

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