National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023 -(ʔAKISQAKⱠIʔIT) CRANBROOK 

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023 -(ʔAKISQAKⱠIʔIT) CRANBROOK 

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023 -(ʔAKISQAKⱠIʔIT) CRANBROOK 

June 21, 2023

Today, on National Indigenous People’s Day, we celebrate the rich cultures, contributions, and resilience of Indigenous peoples across Canada. It is also a time to reflect on the progress made in response to the calls to action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report. Cranbrook has been actively involved in several meaningful projects over the past year. Let’s take a closer look at some milestones that highlight our commitment to honoring Indigenous heritage and advancing reconciliation.

The Ktunaxa Homelands has been bestowed with a prestigious national award from the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) for their outstanding efforts. Recognized as the Best Advertising Campaign, this initiative showcases the exceptional collaboration between the Ktunaxa Nation, Cranbrook Tourism, Tourism Fernie, and Tourism Kimberley. Launched in the spring of 2022, the campaign captivated audiences with its three-part video series, depicting the Ktunaxa Creation Story. By sharing this narrative, the campaign aimed to foster a deeper understanding of the formation of the Rockies and Kootenay waterways from a Ktunaxa perspective, promoting cultural appreciation and unity.

Another significant milestone in Cranbrook’s journey towards reconciliation is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Aqam. This MOU paves the way for the development of a renewable energy project and employment lands adjacent to the Canadian Rockies International Airport. This collaboration not only supports sustainable practices but also creates economic opportunities that benefit both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. By fostering partnerships and shared prosperity, Cranbrook demonstrates its commitment to reconciliation beyond cultural preservation.

In a symbolic gesture of inclusivity and respect, we recently installed a prominent Ktunaxa Welcome message at the arrivals and departures area of the Canadian Rockies International Airport (CRIA). This installation aims to honor the Ktunaxa people’s ancestral lands and serves as a warm greeting to visitors and residents alike. By incorporating Indigenous language and culture into public spaces, Cranbrook embraces the spirit of reconciliation and acknowledges the historical and ongoing presence of Indigenous communities.

Cranbrook’s dedication to reconciliation extends to the preservation and celebration of natural landscapes. In collaboration with Aqam, the city has embarked on the development of Aqam Park on the St. Mary’s River. This project seeks to protect and restore the ecological integrity of the area while also providing opportunities for cultural interpretation and recreation. The park will serve as a gathering place for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, fostering understanding, connection, and appreciation for the land and its history.

As Cranbrook commemorates National Indigenous People’s Day, it continues its unwavering commitment to meaningful projects that promote reconciliation, cultural preservation, and sustainable development. The milestones achieved through the Ktunaxa Homelands campaign, the MOU with Aqam, the installation of the Ktunaxa Welcome message at CRIA, and the development of Aqam Park are testaments to the city’s dedication. Cranbrook looks forward to building upon these successes and advancing the journey towards reconciliation, unity, and a future that embraces the diverse voices and experiences of all its residents.