By Dan Walton
With a ceremony which adopted traditions from two cultures, the Columbia Discovery Centre and Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre in Canal Flats had a drum circle and dance prior to the ribbon cutting on Saturday, September 14th.
The two centres share the same one building, which is more than large enough to comfortably accommodate both the chambers for the Village of Canal Flats and the artistic displays shared by the Ktunaxa First Nation.
Originally situated on land owned by numbered company 391043 Alberta Ltd., the log building was traded to the village by the company in exchange for tax relief, and moved to the current site in
The deal was very generous on behalf of the
numbered company, said Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras.
It was an amazing opportunity for us to reconcile what had happened with the development to the north of us, Ms. Juras told The Pioneer.
We had a very strained relationship through that, and we came together and decided to move on and learn from those mistakes, and try to strengthen our relationship.
She said that last weekends opening ceremony was a milestone in rebuilding trust.
Hopefully well have many more projects that we can work together on, she said.
Delivering a strong start to the new Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre, band members kicked off the ceremony with a traditional dance which circulated through nearly the entire property.
Following commencement speeches by politicians at all levels of government, the dozens of guests in attendance were invited into the building. Inside, the walls were covered with Ktunaxa art, the event was catered with lunch, and the Ktunaxa creation story was brought to life in a dramatic telling. A tasty smoke lingered in the air, as pit cooking demonstrations gave guests traditionally-roasted strips of meat to sample.
The Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre provides an opportunity for our neighbours to learn about us, and to ensure that we have a continued presence in all areas throughout our territory, said Ktunaxa First Nation chair Kathryn Teneese.
The Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre is open during business hours for the public to explore.