St. Eugene Resort near Cranbrook (Dannielle Hayes photo)
The Kootenay Rockies region is home to the Ktunaxa First Nation.
The Ktunaxa (pronounced tan-ah-ha, and also known as the Kootenay or Kootenai) occupied this region for thousands of years prior to European settlement.
In the 19th century, contact with European fur traders and settlers exposed the Ktunaxa to unfamiliar diseases, greatly impacting their population. Visitors can explore the language, life and culture of the Ktunaxa Nation through interpretive centres and tours in the Kootenay Rockies.
Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre
The Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre at St. Eugene Resort near Cranbrook, is housed in a 1910 Spanish colonial building that operated for 60 years as a residential school for Aboriginal children. Today, the Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre features historic photographs and artifacts, scale models of traditional teepees, a sturgeon-nosed canoe; the centre also promotes contemporary Aboriginal arts, culture, and heritage. The interpretive centre is open by appointment.
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7468 Mission Rd
Cranbrook, British Columbia
Hoodoos and other geological features are prominent in the Ktunaxa creation story, which reveals much about the Ktunaxa history. This fascinating story can be heard at the Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre at the St. Eugene Mission Resort, a Spanish colonial building constructed in 1910 (which operated for 60 years as a residential school for Aboriginal children). The Ktunaxa Kinbasket Tribal Council has transformed the building into a modern full-service resort. On-site is the Interpretive Centre that showcases Aboriginal contemporary arts, culture and heritage. On display are historic photographs, scale models of traditional tipis, a sturgeon-nosed canoe and many other artifacts.