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Ktunaxa Nation purchase Central School BuildingPosted: August 21, 2012

The Ktunaxa Nation Council today (August 21) announced that they have purchased the old Central School Building in Cranbrook.

The Central School Building will become an office for the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC), and house up to 150 staff members between the KNC other affiliated organizations.

“We have been looking for a space that could accommodate our growing organization and its many staff members,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation chair.

“Currently we have many dispersed offices, in a variety of locations, and this will allow us to consolidate and centralize services, which will promote resource efficiencies, improve communications, and allow better support across all the sectors which make up the Ktunaxa Nation Council.”

In a recent analysis, figures show that the Ktunaxa inject more than $30 million annually into the regional economy. Most revenue is generated is from consulting and professional services, along with various Ktunaxa owned enterprises, with less than three per cent of core funding coming from AANDC (Department of Indian Affairs).

The KNC is governed by a nine member executive council, which is comprised of the Chiefs of the four Canadian Ktunaxa communities and five Council Chairs which represent  the sectors of the KNC: Corporate; Economic; Social Investment; Lands and Resources; and Traditional Knowledge and Language.

“When the opportunity for the Central School building presented itself, the Nation Executive was whole heartedly in favour,” continued Teneese. “The building is historically iconic and we value the preservation of culture, tradition and heritage, and as such, we accept the responsibility of maintaining the heritage value moving forward.”

Images courtesy Ktunaxa Nation

“Many Ktunaxa went to the school there when it was active, and the building is centrally located in the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory in the lands now known as Cranbrook. The purchase of the Central School Building represents a continuum of the history of Ktunaxa on its lands, and is symbolic of Ktunaxa efforts in moving towards self-governance.”

The building, built in 1909, will become a centre for cultural gatherings and will house a Ktunaxa Nation Museum, for which resource planning is already underway. The building will also have a dedicated space for Ktunaxa Elders to discuss and share cultural values and history. The building will be home to many affiliated organizations including Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty Society, St. Eugene Mission Resort Holdings Ltd., Ktunaxa Holdings Ltd., Traditional Knowledge Language Enrichment Society, Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency (KABDA) and FlexiNET Broadband Inc.

All pre-purchase inspections, including building and building systems, structural, environmental, air quality and fire inspection have been concluded, and date of possession will be October 1. There is some minor external restoration and repair work to the brickwork that will take place immediately, and there are plans for upgrades to the heating and cooling systems in the future.

A grand opening will take later this fall, at which time the Ktunaxa will welcome the citizens of Cranbrook and surrounding region to join in the celebration.

Ktunaxa people have occupied the lands adjacent to the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia, Canada for more than 10,000 years. For more information on the Ktunaxa visit: www.ktunaxa.org .

Ktunaxa Nation

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