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The Kutenai ( ), also known as the Ktunaxa ( ; ), Ksanka ( ), Kootenay (in Canada) and Kootenai (in the United States), are an
indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
of Canada and the United States. Kutenai bands live in southeastern
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
, northern
Idaho Idaho () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Idaho
, and western
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
. The
Kutenai language The Kutenai language (), also Kootenai, Kootenay, Ktunaxa, and Ksanka, is the native language of the Kutenai people of Montana and Idaho in the United States and British Columbia in Canada. It is typically considered a language isolate, unrelated ...
is a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. Korean language, Korean and Basque language, Basque are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. ...
, thus unrelated to the languages of neighboring peoples or any other known language. Four bands form the
Ktunaxa NationThe Ktunaxa Nation or Ktunaxa Nation Council is a First Nations tribal council government comprising four Ktunaxa (Kutenai) bands in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is one of three Kutenai governments, the others being the Kootenai Trib ...
in British Columbia. The Ktunaxa Nation was historically closely associated with the
Shuswap Indian BandShuswap may refer to: * Secwepemc, an indigenous people in British Columbia, Canada, also known in English as the Shuswap ** Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, a multi-band regional organization of Secwepemc governments based in Kamloops, British Columb ...
through tribal association and intermarriage. Two
federally recognized tribes This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, ...
represent Kutenai people in the U.S.: the
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), o ...
and the
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation are a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), ...
in Montana, a confederation also including
Bitterroot Salish Image:Salish-men-tipis-1903.jpg, 400px, Salish Men Near Tipis (1903 Flathead Reservation, Montana) The Bitterroot Salish (or Flathead, Salish, Selish) are a Salishan languages, Salish-speaking group of Native Americans in the United States, Native ...
and
Pend d'Oreilles The Pend d'Oreille ( ), also known as the Kalispel (), are Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau, also referred to by the phrase Indigenous peoples of the Plateau, and historically called the ...
bands.


Kootenay

Around 40 variants of the name ''Kutenai'' have been attested since 1820; two others are also in current use. ''Kootenay'' is the common spelling in
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
, including in the name of the
Lower Kootenay First Nation The Lower Kootenay First Nation (Kutenai language, Ktunaxa: Yaqan nu?kiy Band ) are a First Nation based in the Kootenays, East Kootenay region of British Columbia. In the British Columbia Treaty Process They are part of the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Triba ...
. ''Kootenai'' is used in Montana and Idaho, including in the
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), o ...
and the
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation are a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), ...
. These two spellings have been used for various placenames on their respective sides of the Canadian-U.S. border, notably the
Kootenay River The Kootenay or Kootenai river is a major river in the Northwest Plateau The Pacific Northwest (PNW), sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a geographic region in western North America North America is a continent entirely within ...
, called the Kootenai River in the United States. ''Kutenai'' is the common form in the literature about the people, and has been adopted by Kutenai in both countries as an international spelling when discussing the people as a whole. The name evidently derives from the
Blackfoot The Blackfoot Confederacy, ''Niitsitapi'' or ''Siksikaitsitapi'' (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, meaning "the people" or " Blackfoot-speaking real people"), is a historic collective name for linguistically related groups that make up the Blackfoot or Black ...
word for the people, ''Kotonáwa'', which itself may derive from the Kutenai term ''Ktunaxa''. There are two words in the
Kutenai language The Kutenai language (), also Kootenai, Kootenay, Ktunaxa, and Ksanka, is the native language of the Kutenai people of Montana and Idaho in the United States and British Columbia in Canada. It is typically considered a language isolate, unrelated ...
for the people and their language: ''Ktunaxa'' and ''Ksanka''. ''Ktunaxa'' is the primary form for the British Columbia groups. Two etymologies have been suggested, tying the name to a verb for "to go out into the open", or to a verb for "to eat lean meat". ''Ksanka'' is the word used by the Montana people.


Communities

Four Kutenai bands live in southeastern British Columbia, one lives in northern Idaho, and one lives in northwestern Montana: ;
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
-
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
: *The
Ktunaxa Nation CouncilThe Ktunaxa Nation or Ktunaxa Nation Council is a First Nations tribal council government comprising four Ktunaxa (Kutenai) bands in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is one of three Kutenai governments, the others being the Kootenai Trib ...
(KNC) (until 2005 the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council) includes the four Canadian bands: ** Akisqnuk First Nation ("place of two lakes"; also known as the Columbia Lake Indian Band). An Upper Kutenai group, they are headquartered in Akisqnuk, south of
Windermere Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. More than 11 miles (18 km) in length, and almost 1 mile (1.5 km) at its widest, it is a ribbon lake A ribbon lake is a long and deep, finger-shaped lake, usually found in a glacial trough. As ...
. Reserves include: Columbia Lake #3, St. Mary's #1A, ca. 33 km2, population: 264) **
Lower Kootenay Band The Lower Kootenay First Nation (Ktunaxa The Kutenai (), also known as the Ktunaxa ( ; ), Ksanka (), Kootenay (in Canada) and Kootenai (in the United States), are an indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous people of Canada and the Uni ...
, (Yaqan Nukiy or Lower Kootenay First Nation). A Lower Kutenai group, they are headquartered in
CrestonCreston may refer to: Places Canada * Creston, British Columbia, a town in the Regional District of Central Kootenay ** Creston (electoral district), a provincial electoral district * Creston Formation, a formation cropping out in Newfoundland ** ...
, on the most populous reserve Creston #1 along the Kootenay River, ca. 6 km north of the US-Canada border. Reserves include: Creston #1, Lower Kootenay #1A, #1B, #1C, #2, #3, #5, #4, St. Mary's #1A, ca. 26 km2, population: 214) ** St. Mary's First Nation (ʔaq̓am or ʔaq̓amniʔk, "deep dense woods"). An Upper Kutenai group, they live along the St. Mary's River near
CranbrookCranbrook may refer to: People * Earl of Cranbrook, a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom ** Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 1st Earl of Cranbrook (1814–1906), British Conservative politician ** John Stewart Gathorne-Hardy, 2nd Earl of Cranbrook ...
. Tribal headquarters are located on the most populous reserve, ''Kootenay #1''; reserves include: Bummers Flat #6, Cassimayooks (Mayook) #5, Isidore's Ranch #4, Kootenay #1, St. Mary's #1A, ca. 79 km2, population: 357) **
Tobacco Plains Indian Band The Tobacco Plains Indian Band (Kutenai language, Ktunaxa: ʔakink̓umǂasnuqǂiʔit ) are a First Nation based in the Kootenays, East Kootenay region of British Columbia. In the British Columbia Treaty Process They are part of the Ktunaxa Kinba ...
(Tobacco Plains First Nation, ʔa·kanuxunik, ''Akan'kunik'', or ''ʔakink̓umⱡasnuqⱡiʔit'' - 'People of the place of the flying head'. An Upper Kutenai band, they live near Grasmere on the east shore of the
Lake Koocanusa Lake Koocanusa is a reservoir A reservoir (; from French language, French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake created using a dam to water storage, store water. Reservoirs can be created in a number of way ...

Lake Koocanusa
below the mouth of Elk River, ca. 15 km north of the British Columbia-Montana border. Reserves include: St. Mary's #1A, Tobacco Plains #2, ca. 44 km2, population: 165) Additionally, the
Shuswap Indian BandShuswap may refer to: * Secwepemc, an indigenous people in British Columbia, Canada, also known in English as the Shuswap ** Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, a multi-band regional organization of Secwepemc governments based in Kamloops, British Columb ...
were formerly part of the Ktunaxa Nation. They are a
Secwepemc The Secwépemc ( ; Secwepemc The Secwépemc ( ; Shuswap language, Secwepemc: or ), known in English as the Shuswap people , are a First Nations people residing in the interior of the Canada, Canadian province of British Columbia. They speak on ...
(Shuswap) band who settled in Kutenai territory in the mid-19th century. They were eventually incorporated into the group and intermarried with them, and spoke the Kutenai language. They departed the Ktunaxa nation in 2004 and are now part of the
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council The Shuswap Nation Tribal Council is a First Nations Tribal Council in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Based in the Thompson River, Thompson and Shuswap Lake, Shuswap Districts of the British Columbia Interior, Central Interior, although ...
. They are located near
Invermere Invermere is a community in eastern British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = ...
, just northeast of Windermere Lake; their reserves include: St. Mary's #1A, Shuswap IR, ca. 12 km2, population: 244). ;
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
-
Idaho Idaho () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Idaho
: *
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), o ...
(''ʔaq̓anqmi'' or ''ʔa·kaq̓ⱡahaⱡxu'', also called Idaho Ksanka). A Lower Kutenai group, they govern the Kootenai Indian Reservation in Boundary County. Their population is 75. ;
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
-
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
: * Kootenai (''K̓upawi¢q̓nuk'' or ''Ksanka'') are members of the
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation are a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), ...
, along with
Bitterroot Salish Image:Salish-men-tipis-1903.jpg, 400px, Salish Men Near Tipis (1903 Flathead Reservation, Montana) The Bitterroot Salish (or Flathead, Salish, Selish) are a Salishan languages, Salish-speaking group of Native Americans in the United States, Native ...
and
Pend d'Oreilles The Pend d'Oreille ( ), also known as the Kalispel (), are Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau, also referred to by the phrase Indigenous peoples of the Plateau, and historically called the ...
bands. An Upper Kutenai group, they live mostly on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana. A total population of about 6,800 live on the reservation, while 3,700 live outside the reservation nearby.


History

The Kutenai today live in southeastern
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
,
Idaho Idaho () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Idaho
, and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
. They are loosely divided into two groups: the Upper Kutenai and the Lower Kutenai, referring to the different sections of the
Kootenay River The Kootenay or Kootenai river is a major river in the Northwest Plateau The Pacific Northwest (PNW), sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a geographic region in western North America North America is a continent entirely within ...
(spelled "Kootenai" in the U.S.) where the bands live. The Upper Kutenai are the Akisqnuk First Nation (Columbia Lake Band), the St. Mary's Band, and the
Tobacco Plains Indian Band The Tobacco Plains Indian Band (Kutenai language, Ktunaxa: ʔakink̓umǂasnuqǂiʔit ) are a First Nation based in the Kootenays, East Kootenay region of British Columbia. In the British Columbia Treaty Process They are part of the Ktunaxa Kinba ...
in British Columbia, as well as the Montana Kootenai. The Lower Kutenai are the
Lower Kootenay First Nation The Lower Kootenay First Nation (Kutenai language, Ktunaxa: Yaqan nu?kiy Band ) are a First Nation based in the Kootenays, East Kootenay region of British Columbia. In the British Columbia Treaty Process They are part of the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Triba ...
of British Columbia and the
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is a federally recognized tribe This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), o ...
.


Origins

Scholars have numerous ideas about the origins of the Ktunaxa. One theory is that they originally lived on the
prairie Wheatfield intersection in the Southern Saskatchewan prairies, Canada. Prairies are ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interact ...
s, and were driven across the
Rockies The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similari ...

Rockies
by the competing
Blackfoot people The Blackfoot Confederacy, ''Niitsitapi'' or ''Siksikaitsitapi'' (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, meaning "the people" or "Blackfoot language, Blackfoot-speaking real people"), is a historic collective name for linguistically related groups that make up th ...
or by
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
and disease. Some Upper Kootenay participated in a Plains Native lifestyle for part of the year, crossing the Rockies to the east for the
bison Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus ''Bison'' within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant taxon, extant and six extinction, extinct species are recognised. Of the six extinct species, five became extinct in the Quaternary extinction ...

bison
hunt. They were relatively well known to the Blackfoot, and sometimes their relations with them were in the form of violent confrontation over food competition. Some Ktunaxa remained on or returned to the prairies year-round; they had a settlement near
Fort Macleod Fort Macleod is a town in southern AlbertaSouthern Alberta is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and the intera ...
,
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
. This group of Ktunaxa suffered high mortality rates, partly because of the depredations of the Blackfoot, and partly because of
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
epidemics. With numbers sharply reduced, these Plains Ktunaxa returned to the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Some of the Ktunaxa say that their ancestors came originally from the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
region of
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
. To date, scholars have not found either archeological or historic evidence to support this account. The Ktunaxa territory in British Columbia has archeological sites with some of the oldest human-made artifacts in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
, dated to 11,500 before the present (BP). It has not been proven whether these artifacts were left by ancestors of the Ktunaxa or by another, possibly
Salishan The Salishan (also Salish) languages are a group of languages of the Pacific Northwest in North America (the Canadian province of British Columbia and the American states of Washington (state), Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana). They are ch ...

Salishan
, group. Human occupation of the Kootenay Rockies has been demonstrated by dated sites with evidence of
quarrying A quarry is a type of open-pit mine File:Ende Gelände 2017 CHB 23 (cropped).jpg, The giant bucket-wheel excavators in the German Rhineland coal mines are among the world's biggest land vehicles. Open-pit mining, also known as open-cas ...
and
flint-knapping Knapping is the shaping of flint Flint is a sedimentary Sedimentary rocks are types of rock (geology), rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic matter, organic particles at Earth#Surface, Earth's surfac ...
, especially of
quartzite Quartzite is a hard, non-Foliation (geology), foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone.Essentials of Geology, 3rd Edition, Stephen Marshak, p 182 Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usu ...

quartzite
and
tourmaline Tourmaline ( ) is a crystalline A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed together ...

tourmaline
. This oldest assemblage of artifacts is known as the Goatfell Complex, named after the Goatfell region about 40 km east of
Creston, British Columbia Creston is a town in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , off ...
on Highway 3. These artifacts have been found at quarries in Goatfell, Harvey Mountain, Idaho, Negro Lake and Kiakho Lake (both near Lumberton and
CranbrookCranbrook may refer to: People * Earl of Cranbrook, a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom ** Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 1st Earl of Cranbrook (1814–1906), British Conservative politician ** John Stewart Gathorne-Hardy, 2nd Earl of Cranbrook ...
), North Star Mountain just west of Creston on Highway 3, and at Blue Ridge. All these sites are within 50 km of
CrestonCreston may refer to: Places Canada * Creston, British Columbia, a town in the Regional District of Central Kootenay ** Creston (electoral district), a provincial electoral district * Creston Formation, a formation cropping out in Newfoundland ** ...
, with the exception of Blue Ridge, which is near the village of
Kaslo Kaslo is a village on the west shore of Kootenay Lake Kootenay Lake is a lake located in British Columbia, Canada and is part of the Kootenay River. The lake has been raised by the Corra Linn Dam and has a dike system at the southern end, whi ...
, quite a distance north on the west side of
Kootenay Lake Kootenay Lake is a lake located in British Columbia, Canada and is part of the Kootenay River. The lake has been raised by the Corra Linn Dam and has a dike system at the southern end, which, along with industry in the 1950s-70s, has changed the ec ...
. Archaeologist Dr. Wayne Choquette believes that the artifacts represented in the Goatfell Complex, dated from 11,500 BP up to the early historical period, show that there has been no break in the archaeological record. In addition, he says that it appears that the technology was local. No evidence supports the conjecture that the region's first inhabitants emigrated from this area, nor that they were replaced or succeeded by a different people. Choquette concludes that the Ktunaxa today are the descendants of those first people to inhabit the land. Other scholars, such as Reg Ashwell, suggest that the Ktunaxa moved to the British Columbia region in the early half of the 18th century, having been harassed and pushed there from East of the Rockies by the
Blackfoot The Blackfoot Confederacy, ''Niitsitapi'' or ''Siksikaitsitapi'' (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, meaning "the people" or " Blackfoot-speaking real people"), is a historic collective name for linguistically related groups that make up the Blackfoot or Black ...

Blackfoot
. He notes that their language is isolated from that of Salish tribes common to the Pacific Coast. In addition, their traditional dress, many of their customs (such as their use of teepee-style portable dwellings), and their traditional religion have more in common with Plains peoples than with the Coastal Salish. The Goatfell assemblage of artifacts suggests that prior to 11,500 BP, the people who came to inhabit the Kootenay mountains may have lived in what is now the southwestern
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, during a period when
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
was beneath the Cordilleran
ice sheet In glaciology Lateral moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt">Gorner_Glacier.html" ;"title="moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier">moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt, Swiss Alps. The moraine is ...

ice sheet
of the last
Ice Age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...

Ice Age
. The Goatfell Complex, and specifically the techniques of manufacture of the tools and
points Point or points may refer to: Places * Point, Lewis, a peninsula in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland * Point, Texas, a city in Rains County, Texas, United States * Point, the NE tip and a ferry terminal of Lismore, Scotland, Lismore, Inner Hebrides, ...
, are part of a tradition of knapping that existed in the
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
n
Great Basin The Great Basin ( es, Gran Cuenca) is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds – those with no outlets – in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Gene ...
and the
intermontane Intermontane is a physiographic adjective wiktionary:compound#Adjective, formed from the prefix "wiktionary:inter-, inter-" (''signifying among, between, amid, during, within, mutual, reciprocal'') and the adjective "wiktionary:montane#Adjective, m ...
west of the continent in the late
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
. The prevailing theory is that as the
glacier A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice Ice is into a state. Depending on the presence of such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less bluish-white color. In the , ice is abunda ...

glacier
s retreated, people moved northward, following the revival of the
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...

flora
and
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

fauna
to the north. From the time of the first Ktunaxa settlement in the Kootenays, until the historical period beginning in the late 18th century, there is little known of the people's social, political, and intellectual development.
Stone tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of Rock (geology), stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistory, prehisto ...

Stone tool
technologies changed and became more complex and differentiated. They were probably big game hunters in their earliest prehistoric phase. The Ktunaxa were first noted in the historical record when mentioned on Alexander Mackenzie's map, circa 1793. As temperatures continued to warm, the glacial lakes drained and fish found habitat in the warmer waters. The Lower Kootenay across the Pacific Northwest made fishing a fundamental part of their diet and culture, while maintaining the old traditions of game hunting.


Early history

Anthropological and ethnographic interest in the Ktunaxa were recorded from the mid-19th century. What these
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
an and
North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of a single continent, Americas, America. It is bordered to the north by the A ...
scholars recorded has to be viewed with a critical eye, since they did not have the theoretical sophistication expected of anthropologists today. They imputed much of their own cultural values into what they were able to observe among the Ktunaxa. But their accounts are the most detailed descriptions of Ktunaxa lifestyles at a time when Aboriginal lifeways all over the world were dramatically changing in the face of settlement by Europeans and European Americans. The earliest ethnographies detail Ktunaxa culture around the turn of the 20th century. Europeans observed the Ktunaxa enjoying a stable economic life and rich social life, based on a detailed ritual calendar. Their economic life focused on fishing, using
fish trap A fish trap is a trap A trap is a Trapping#Trap_types, mechanical device used to capture or restrain an animal for purposes such as hunting, pest control, or ecological research. Trap or TRAP may also refer to: Art and entertainment Films a ...
s and hooks, and travelling on the waterways in the sturgeon-nosed canoe. They had seasonal and sometimes ritual hunts for
bear Bears are carnivora Carnivora is an order of placental Placentalia is one of the three extant subdivisions of the class of animals Mammalia Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Ita ...

bear
,
deer Deer or true deer are hoof A hoof ( or ), plural hooves ( or ) or hoofs , is the tip of a toe Toes are the digits (fingers) of the foot of a tetrapod. Animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organis ...

deer
,
caribou The reindeer (''Rangifer tarandus''), also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North ...

caribou
, gophers,
geese A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl Anseriformes is an order (biology), order of birds that comprise about 180 living species in three families: Anhimidae (the 3 screamers), Anseranatidae (the magpie goose), and An ...

geese
, and the many other
fowl Fowl are bird Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high rate, a four-chambered , and a strong yet lightweight . Birds live worldwide and range in size from the ...

fowl
in Lower Kootenay country. As mentioned above, the Upper Kootenay often crossed the Rockies to participate in the
bison Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus ''Bison'' within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant taxon, extant and six extinction, extinct species are recognised. Of the six extinct species, five became extinct in the Quaternary extinction ...

bison
hunt. The Lower Kootenay, however, did not participate in communal bison hunts; these were not important to their economy or culture. The Ktunaxa conducted vision quests, particularly by a young man in a passage to adulthood. They used
tobacco Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defini ...

tobacco
ritually. They practiced a
Sun Dance The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced by some Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans i ...
and Grizzly Bear Dance, a midwinter festival, a Blue Jay Dance, and other social and ceremonial activities. The men belonged to different societies or lodges, such as the Crazy Dog Society, the Crazy Owl Society, and the Shamans' Society. These groups took on certain responsibilities, and membership in a lodge came with obligations in battle, hunting, and community service. The Ktunaxa and their neighbors the
Sinixt The Sinixt"Sinixt Nation…" (also known as the Sin-Aikst or Sin Aikst,Reyes 2002, ''passim.'' "Senjextee", "Arrow Lakes Band", or — less commonly in recent decades — simply as "The Lakes") are a First Nations The First Nations ( ...
both used the sturgeon-nosed canoe. This water craft was first described in 1899 as having some similarity to canoes used in the Amur region of Asia. At the time, some scholars believed in a theory of dispersal, concluding that similarities of artifacts or symbols among cultures represented that a superior culture had transmitted its elements to another culture. Since then, however, most scholars have concluded that many such innovations arose independently among different cultures. Harry Holbert Turney-High, the first to write an extensive ethnography of the Ktunaxa (focusing on bands in the United States), records a detailed description of the harvesting of bark to make this canoe (67):
A tree ... growing rather high in the mountains is sought. Finding one of the desired size and quality, a man climbed it to the proper height and cut a ring around the bark with his elk-horn chisel or flint knife. In the meantime a helper cut out another ring at the base of the tree. This done, an incision was made down the length of the trunk connecting the two rings. This cut had to be as straight and accurate as possible. A stick of about two inches in diameter was used carefully to pry the bark from the tree. The bark was wrapped up so that it would not dry out on the way to camp. The inside, or tree-side of the bark sheet, became the outside of the canoe, while the outside surface became the inside of the boat. The bark was considered ready for immediate use. There was no scraping or seasoning, nor was it decorated in any way.
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
missionaries A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or provide services, such as education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), ...

missionaries
traveled to the Ktunaxa territories and worked to convert the peoples, keeping extensive written records of the process and of their observations of the culture. As a result of their accounts, there is more information about the missionary process than about other aspects of Ktunaxa history at the turn of the 20th century. The Ktunaxa had been exposed to Christianity as early as the 18th century, when a Lower Kootenay prophet from Flathead Lake in Montana by the name of Shining Shirt spread news of the coming of the 'Blackrobes' (French Jesuit missionaries) (Cocolla 20). Ktunaxa people also encountered Christian
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...

Iroquois
sent west by the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with ...
. By the 1830s the Ktunaxa had begun to adopt certain Christian elements in a syncretic blend of ceremonies. They were influenced less by European missionaries than through their contact with Christian Natives from other parts of Canada and the United States. Father
Pierre-Jean de Smet Pierre-Jean De Smet ( ; 30 January 1801 – 23 May 1873), also known as Pieter-Jan De Smet, was a Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch (), Belgi ...

Pierre-Jean de Smet
in 1845-6 was the first missionary to tour the region. He intended to establish missions to minister to Native peoples, and assessing the success and needs of those already established. The Catholic
Jesuits The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviated SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six co ...
had made it a priority to minister to these newly discovered peoples in the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: "[16c: from ...
. While there was missionary activity in Eastern North America for 200 years, the Ktunaxa were not the objects of the church's attentions until the mid-late 19th century. Following De Smet, a Jesuit named Philippo Canestrelli lived among the Ksanka people of
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
in the 1880s and 90s. He wrote a much celebrated grammar of their language, published in 1896. The first missionary to take up a permanent post in the Yaqan Nu'kiy territory, i.e. the Creston Band of Lower Kootenay, was Father Nicolas Coccola, who arrived in the Creston area in 1880. His memoirs, corroborated by newspaper reports and Ktunaxa oral histories, are the basis for the early 20th-century history of the Ktunaxa. In the first stages of Ktunaxa-European contact, mainly the result of a
gold rush A gold rush or gold fever is a discovery of gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, ...

gold rush
that began in earnest in 1863 with the discovery of gold in Wild Horse Creek, the Ktunaxa were little interested in European-driven economic activities. Traders worked to recruit them to
trap A trap is a Trapping#Trap_types, mechanical device used to capture or restrain an animal for purposes such as hunting, pest control, or ecological research. Trap or TRAP may also refer to: Art and entertainment Films and television * Trap (201 ...
in support of the fur trade, but few Lower Kootenay found this worthwhile. The Lower Kootenay region is, as mentioned above, remarkably rich in fish, birds, and large game. As the economic life of the Yaqan Nu'kiy was notably secure, they resisted new and unfamiliar economic activities. Slowly though, the Yaqan Nu'kiy began participating in European-driven industries. They served as hunters and guides for the miners at the Bluebell silver-lead mine at Riondel. The richest gold mine ever discovered in the Kootenays was discovered by a Ktunaxa man named Pierre, and staked by him and Father Coccola in 1893.


20th century

While there was sometimes conflict between the Yaqan Nu'kiy and the local settler community at Creston, their relations were more characterized by peaceful coexistence. Their conflicts tended to be over land use. In contrast, relations between the Lower Kootenay and the surrounding European society in
Bonners Ferry, Idaho Bonners Ferry is a city in and the county seat of Boundary County, Idaho, Boundary County, Idaho, United States. The population was 2,543 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census. History When gold was discovered in the East Kootenays of Bri ...
, deteriorated. By the turn of the 20th century, some Yaqan Nu'kiy were engaged in agricultural activities introduced by European settlers, but their approach to the land was different. An example of the type of conflict that repeatedly arose between European settlers and Native farmers is shown by a newspaper article in the ''Creston Review'' dated Friday, 9 August 1912:
A dispute over the rights to cut hay on the flat lands, between the Indians and the white men, which might have resulted in bloodshed, was settled Wednesday by W.F. Teetzel, government agent, of Nelson, who told both Indians and whites that if violence is done, no one would be allowed to cut hay on government land. ... The principal trouble this year occurred when some Indians threatened Frank Lewis and drove him from the hay he had already cut. The Indians claim they have cut land at this particular place for years while the old-time ranchers say that hay has never before been cut there. Mr. Lewis complained to Policeman Gunn who, as the definite of the Indian reservation is not known was at a loss what to do because no violence was committed whereby he could act. ... Mr. Teetzel arrived from Nelson Wednesday and in conference with Chief Alexander, got him to promise to see that Mr. Lewis got his hay, and warned him to keep the Indians from violence under penalty of losing the right of cutting hay on the flats. This warning he also gave to the white men. This is not the only one of the cases occurring this year. One farmer whose place is located near the reservation has been continually bothered by the Indians cutting his fences and turning their cattle in to graze on his property.
The ''Creston Review,'' also reported on 21 June 1912: " ndian Agent Galbraithsays everything is in good condition and the majority of the Indians are at work picking berries for the ranchers who find their help useful and profitable." These examples illustrate the dynamic of relations between two peoples: the Ktunaxa whose lands have been vastly reduced by the introduction of a reserve system, and the European settlers who are constantly looking to expand their access to the land (and later industries). During the 20th century the Yaqan Nu'kiy gradually became involved in all the industries of the Creston valley:
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
,
forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, ste ...
,
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occu ...

mining
, and later
health care Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health Health, according to the , is "a state of complete physical, and social and not merely the absence of and ".. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Organization''– ''Basic Docume ...

health care
, education, and
tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

tourism
. This process of integration separated the Yaqan Nu'kiy from their traditional lifeways, yet they have remained a very successful and self-confident community. They gradually gained more control and self-government, with less involvement from the Department of Indian or Aboriginal Affairs. Like most tribes in
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
, the Yaqan Nu'kiy did not have a treaty defining their rights regarding their territory. They have been working for decades on a careful and more or less cooperative treaty negotiation process with the
government of Canada The government of Canada (french: Gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federation, federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown is the Corporation sole#The Crown, corporation sole, assuming distinct r ...
. The Creston Band of the Ktunaxa today has 113 individuals living on the reserve, and many others living off-reserve and working in various industries in Canada and the United States. Feeling that they have lost some traditions that are very important to them, the Ktunaxa are working to revive their culture, and particularly to encourage language study. A total of 10 fluent speakers of Ktunaxa live in both the U.S. and Canada. The Yaqan Nu'kiy have developed a language curriculum for grades 4–6, and have been teaching it for four years, to develop a new generation of native speakers. They are involved in designing curriculum for grades 7–12, which requires meeting B.C. curriculum guidelines. Concurrent with this, they are recording oral stories and myths, as well as to videotaping the practice of their traditional crafts and technologies, with spoken directions.


"Kootenai Nation War"

On 20 September 1974, the Kootenai Tribe headed by Chairwoman Amy Trice declared war on the United States government. Their first act was to post tribal members on each end of U.S. Highway 95 that runs through the town of
Bonners Ferry Bonners Ferry is a city in and the county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or Parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and ...
. They asked motorists to pay a toll to drive through the land that had been the tribe's aboriginal land. (About 200 Idaho State Police were on hand to keep the peace and there were no incidents of violence.) They intended to use the toll money to house and care for elderly tribal members. Most tribes in the United States are forbidden to declare war on the U.S. government because of treaties, but the Kootenai Tribe never signed a treaty. The United States government ultimately made a land grant of , the basis of what is now the Kootenai Reservation.Idaho’s forgotten war
University of Idaho
In 1976 the tribe issued "Kootenai Nation War Bonds" that sold at $1.00 each. The bonds were dated 20 September 1974 and contained a brief declaration of war on the United States. These bonds were signed by Amelia Custack Trice, Tribal Chairwoman, and Douglas James Wheaton, Sr., Tribal Representative. They were printed on heavy paper stock and were designed and signed by the western artist Emilie Touraine.


See also

* Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation * Kootanae House, early fur trade post associated with the Kootenai tribe * Kootenays *
Kutenai language The Kutenai language (), also Kootenai, Kootenay, Ktunaxa, and Ksanka, is the native language of the Kutenai people of Montana and Idaho in the United States and British Columbia in Canada. It is typically considered a language isolate, unrelated ...
* Kaúxuma Núpika * Jennifer Porter * Salish Kootenai College


Literature

* Franz Boas, Boas, Franz, and Alexander Francis Chamberlain. ''Kutenai Tales.'' Washington: Govt. Print. Off, 1918. * Alexander Francis Chamberlain, Chamberlain, A. F., "Report of the Kootenay Indians of South Eastern British Columbia," in ''Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science'', (London, 1892) * Finley, Debbie Joseph, and Howard Kallowat. ''Owl's Eyes & Seeking a Spirit: Kootenai Indian Stories''. Pablo, Mont: Salish Kootenai College Press, 1999. * * Linderman, Frank Bird, and Celeste River. ''Kootenai Why Stories.'' Lincoln, Neb: University of Nebraska Press, 1997. * John Maclean (pastor), Maclean, John, ''Canadian Savage Folk'', (Toronto, 1896) * Beatrice Tanaka, Tanaka, Beatrice, and Michel Gay. ''The Chase: A Kutenai Indian Tale''. New York: Crown, 1991. * * Turney-High, Harry Holbert. ''Ethnography of the Kutenai''. Menasha, Wis: American Anthropological Association, 1941.


References


External links


Official website of the Ktunaxa Nation


official website {{DEFAULTSORT:Kootenai (Tribe) Ktunaxa, First Nations in British Columbia Native American tribes in Idaho Native American tribes in Montana Native American tribes in Washington (state) Wars between the United States and Native Americans