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Posted: October 30, 2020

Get to know Ktunaxa creators during #LiveLocal EatLocalYXC

The Ktunaxa Nation has a thriving group of local Indigenous business owners, entrepreneurs and creators who you need to check out and get to know. Join us for the #LiveLocal, EatLocalYXC Festival beginning Thursday, Nov. 5 to 12, helping to supporting local business owners.

The leaders of the Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency (KABDA) have done some great work supporting, promoting and providing professional guidance to people who want to create, grow and thrive in business.

Get a glimpse of what’s happening locally at some inspiring local businesses through a series of Facebook Live Thursday sessions during the #LiveLocal #EatLocalYXC Festival, kicking off Nov. 5 and running until Nov. 15

Here are some of the businesses that will be featured during the Facebook Live sessions. Check out the #LiveLocal EatLocalYXC Facebook page for details about when you can connect with these local entrepreneurs online.

Meanwhile, let’s learn a little more about some of the Ktunaxa entrepreneurs, who are making a difference. Supporting local Indigenous businesses is a small everyday act that shows your support.

An eye for nature

Photographer Blaine Burgoyne is a local landscape photographer. Check out his page and get ready to be impressed. Burgoyne’s images (such as the one to the right) are raw and wild, and contain elements of surprise. You’ll be captivated by his creativity.

“I’m a photographer because it’s a way to take moments, areas, objects, people, lifestyles and turn them into visuals. I can create themes, ideas and emotions with edits of my photos.”

Blaine Burgoyne sums up his local landscape art like this. “I want to bring out the beauty that we have on our reservation lands and show our hidden gems through photography and I want to give back to my communities the best way I can, as this is vital.”

Healing waters

Head to Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort for a little me time. Check out one of the best natural hot springs in B.C., where The Ktunaxa First Nation peoples first discovered the healthy benefits of nupika wu’u (hot mineral baths) along the west shore of Kootenay Lake.

The historic hotel and The Ktunaxa Grill have been recently renovated as well as the newly added beautiful lodging in the Yaqan Nukiy Suites. The property is owned by the Yaqan Nukiy, the Lower Kootenay Band of Creston, returning the Ktunaxa peoples to this significant land so they can share their appreciation with others.

Put the Ktunaxa Grill at the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, on you must-dine list. It is open Wednesday through Sunday and you’ll be treated to scrumptious food that is fresh, local and indigenous inspired.

Find out more about the #LiveLocal #EatLocalYXC events in the East Kootenay happening through November.

Firefighting gear for women

If you’re a woman firefighter, you might have a hard time finding suitable gear that fits properly. AshfireWear is the creative clothing line from Ashley O’Neil who came up with the idea for her business while firefighting fires in B.C. in 2018, the year she did four tours.

“I was struggling to find gear to fit me or to find any type of protective equipment at all, especially for women!” she says.

So, she created Wildland Shirts and Pants, specifically made by women, for women. They are all made with chemical-free, natural materials, making the fabric biodegradable and good for the environment, all while meeting forest fire fighting safety standards.

“I’ve seen many women out there who don’t have the proper gear that is too big or small or fits a man’s body. I can worry about my objectives and not wardrobe malfunctions.”

Ultimately, she says, she wanted her gear to eliminate waste and not contribute to global warming.

Good-for-you products

Learn how Jennifer Pierre (pictured above), of Inspired Spa, creates her natural, healing remedies, infused with CBD and hemp, all made locally. Visit her FB page to learn more and get your orders placed for your holiday list.

Get all the details on the festival here.

Lead image: One of Blaine Burgoyne’s beautiful images. Photos submitted


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