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HomeCranbrook NewsKtunaxa Nation buys property near Columbia Lake to protect archaeological site

Ktunaxa Nation buys property near Columbia Lake to protect archaeological site

A property on the east side of Columbia Lake near Canal Flats has been purchased by the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) to protect its cultural and archeological significance.

Jesse Thomas, KNC Archaeology Coordinator said the sale went quickly after residents notified the KNC that the land was up for sale in June.

“This was already known by the Ktunaxa Nation to be a very important archeological site and it is part of a broader cultural landscape around Columbia Lake and is connected to our creation story,” explained Thomas.

The area has been part of Ktunaxa culture for many years, as evidenced by the discovery of artifacts. Thomas said a number of significant finds have been made on the property.

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“It shows the continuous occupation from the Ktunaxa for thousands of years. The site contains artifacts that include stone tools, habitation features and evidence of our spiritual connection to the area,” said Thomas.

According to the KNC, there have been a number of efforts to protect the site, which it can now do more effectively after gaining ownership of the property.

“We saw the sale as an opportunity to protect the site for future generations and to teach our youth about the creation story because the east side of Columbia Lake is a big part of that story. I was very pleased that we were so quick on this,” said Thomas.

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