The Ktunaxa Nation has officially cancelled its 2020 Annual General Assembly (AGA), which was to be hosted by the Lower Kootenay Band in the Yaqan Nukiy community near Creston.

Originally slated for July 14th to 16th, the Ktunaxa decided it was best to cancel the event this year given the circumstances with COVID-19.

“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).

“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”

Usually a time for the Ktunaxa Nation’s citizens and guests to celebrate and gather for a pow wow, informal and formal meetings, day camps, and camping, the AGA will not proceed in 2020.

“Citizens living here in ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa, and from far away, join together for a weekend’s worth of connection,” said Janvier. “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.”

Janvier said it is of vital importance to protect everyone within the community, particularly those most vulnerable to COVID-19, which includes elders, those with chronic health conditions, and those with compromised immune systems.

With the meeting being cancelled, Janvier said they will still be sending out their annual report and delivering those information materials to Ktunaxa citizens.