The leaders of the Tobacco Plains First Nation will, by example, be supportive, understanding, respectful, honest and cooperative. Their decision-making will be non-judgmental and consistent. With the direction, guidance, patience, and confidence of the Tobacco Plains First Nation citizens, the leaders will continue to be responsible and committed to their roles as leaders.

Our History

The Ktunaxa people have lived on the lands adjacent to the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia for more than 10,000 years. Their traditional territory extends approximately 70,000 square kilometers within the Kootenay region of BC (southeastern corner) and also included areas in Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.The Ktunaxa people travelled within the territory according to the seasons and availability of food.

When the Europeans settled in the Kootenay region, around the 1800s, the Indian Reserves were created and lead to the present Indian Bands. There are seven bands within the nation that can be found in the traditional territory.

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Our Community

The Ktunaxa Nation is made up of four British Columbia bands and two United States bands.

ʔakisq̓nuk – Columbia Lake Band (Windermere, BC)
ʔaq̓am – St. Mary’s Band (Cranbrook, BC)
ʔakink̓umǂasnuqǂiʔit – Tobacco Plains Band (Grasmere, BC)
yaqan nuʔkiy – Lower Kootenay Band (Creston, BC)
ʔaq̓anqmi – Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (Bonners Ferry, Idaho)
k̓upawi¢q̓nuk – Ksanka Band (Elmo, Montana)

Our Language

Ktunaxa is a language isolate, meaning that it is one of a kind and unrelated to any other language in the world. Currently it is in danger of becoming extinct, with fewer and fewer fluent elders living within the community. The Ktunaxa people have now taken the initiative to combine the existing knowledge passed down from our elders and apply it to modern technology, to ensure that the language survives.