Known as Akan'kunik, people of the place of the flying head, the Tobacco Plains Band was also the "Big Village" or ancient capital of the Ktunaxa. Today, the Band is active in agriculture, forestry and commercial activities contributing to the Band'pos recognition as an anchor of the Grasmere economy. The Band is located in the southeast corner of the Province of British Columbia in the area known as Grasmere, B.C. see map of band lands...
The Tobacco Plains Indian Band is one of 7 bands of the Ktunaxa Nation and is located in Grasmere, BC; St. Mary’s Band, Cranbrook, BC; Lower Kootenay Band, Creston, BC; Columbia Lake Band (Akisqnuk Nation); Confederated Salish and Kootenay Tribe, Elmo, MT, USA; Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Bonners Ferry, ID, USA.
The traditions and culture of the Ktunaxa are more than 10,000 years old and are embodied in the distinct aboriginal language and Kootenai Canoe. The traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation is “those lands adjacent to the Kootenay River; from the Big Bend of the Columbia River north of Donald Station; thence southerly, including all of the Kootenay sinuosity’s, to the part of Montana, USA, known as Missoula; thence westerly to the Bonner’s Ferry area of Idaho, USA; then northerly to the Upper Arrow Lakes area of British Columbia; thence easterly across the Bog Bend of the Columbia River to the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains…” (1981, Kootenay Land Claim Declaration). The Indian Reserves of the 5 Bands in Canada combined cover an area of roughly 50,000 acres.
The vision of the Ktunaxa is:
AS A NATION WE ARE STRIVING TO ACHIEVE…
Strong, healthy citizens and communities, speaking our languages and celebrating who we are and our history in our ancestral homelands, working together, managing our lands and resources, within a self-sufficient, self-governing Nation.
It is the Mission of the Tobacco Plains Band to live and care for our land and culture in a manner that provides balance, we must endeavor to protect and restore integrity to the ecosystems on the Tobacco Plains Reserve. We must provide for the present needs of the members of Tobacco Plains Band without taking away from the needs of future generations of our people.
Goals of the Band are:
Administration: to provide programs and services in a manner that is economical, efficient and accountable
Education: to improve the quality of educational programs, provide career training and self-esteem services
Social Development: to provide resources to increase the employability and skills of the client
Recreation: to provide opportunities for social and recreation activities
Economic Development: to diversify the band and local economy, improve the economy of the Band, identity opportunities that may be or are available
Health: to promote healthy lifestyles