Ktunaxa Nation cancels Annual General Assembly
The Ktunaxa Nation has cancelled its Annual General Assembly (AGA) for 2020, which was to take place on July 14 to 16 in the Yaqan Nukiy community near Creston, and was to be hosted by the Lower Kootenay Band.
“We agreed we must cancel the event, given the risks and demands it would place on staff and community members, especially the risks associated with congregating in groups,” said Shawna Janvier, Chief Administrative Officer of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, (KNC).
“We’ve heard the message loud and clear,” Janvier said. “Attending even small gatherings increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. We pray and hope the threat of the virus will have vanished by this July, but that’s out of our hands. We have to do the right thing.”
Janvier said it’s important to protect everyone in community, with particular consideration to those who are more vulnerable to the virus, such as Elders, those with chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and those who have compromised immune systems.
The AGA is usually a time when Ktunaxa Nation citizens and guests gather in the spirit of collaboration and celebration, with camping, day camps, a pow wow and meetings, both formal and informal.
“Citizens living here in ?amak?is Ktunaxa, and from far away, join together for a weekend’s worth of connection,” Janvier said. “This means a lot. I know people will miss seeing everyone. It’s a family time for sharing and being close. But I know everyone will be even happier to see each other next year, when the danger has—if we all do our part and if all goes well—passed.”
The KNC will prepare and deliver information materials to citizens in lieu of the meeting. “We’ll be sending out an annual report,” Janvier said, “and will be working with communities to assist in sharing the news they want to highlight. Who knows? Maybe everyone will have so much practice socializing from home by then that we’ll be able to celebrate together online. We’ll see what we can come up with.”