Course:FNEL 382/Ktunaxa Online Resources

From UBC Wiki

Who are the Kootenai People

The Kootenai people, also known as Kootenay, and Kutenai (anglicized versions) are a small Indigenous group located in the Southeastern interior of British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, and some parts of Washington and Alberta. Their traditional territory approximately expands 70,000 sq km, and have lived on these lands for 10,000 plus years. The Kootenai people are divided into six bands, four bands located in BC; ʔakink̓umⱡasnuqⱡiʔit (Tobacco Plains), ʔaq̓am (St. Mary's), ʔakisq̓nuk (Columbia Lake), and yaqa·n nuʔkiy (Lower Kootenai); One band located in Idaho, ʔaq̓anqmi (Bonners Ferry); And one band located in Montana, k̓upawiȼq̓nuk (Elmo). There is a 7th band located in the Shuswap, kyaknuqⱡiʔit (Shuswap Band) that was apart of the Ktunaxa Nation until 2005 when they opted out of being apart of the nation. However, a few elders in the Ktunaxa community still recognize the ancestral ties and Ktunaxa families from this band as being a part of the Ktunaxa Nation.

Description of the Kootenai language

The Kootenai language is a language isolate and is considered critically endangered with 30 fluent speakers left, based on the First Peoples Cultural Councils (2018) report on BC Indigenous languages. The language is characterized by two names that encompass the people as a whole and their language; Ktunaxa and Ksanka. Ktunaxa is used by speakers living in Canada and Bonner's Ferry, and Ksanka is used by speakers living in Elmo, Montana. There are the upper and lower Kootenai dialects, which can be represented by the flow of the Kootenay river. The upper Kootenai dialect is spoken by ʔakink̓umⱡasnuqⱡiʔit, ʔaq̓am, ʔakisq̓nuk, and k̓upawiȼq̓nuk. The lower Kootenai dialect is spoken by yaqa·n nuʔkiy and ʔaq̓anqmi.

What this page is about

This website is a comprehensive database of accessible online resources on the Ktunaxa/Ksanka language, culture, and history. This website was created for all Ktunaxa/Ksanka people, as a way to have one place where resources, or research that has been done on the Ktunaxa/Ksanka language, culture, and history can be available all in one place.

I wanted to create this page as a way to challenge the concept of who has ownership over research that has been done on Indigenous peoples. This was a key discussion we kept coming back to in the class FNEL 382. As part of the final project, I decided to correlate my final project to this concept, but in a way that links to us Ktunaxa people. As part of a research assignment, we were tasked with finding websites created about Indigenous peoples and the content they contained. I stumbled upon the Open Languages Archive Community website, and looked up Ktunaxa, which listed a total of 136 resources, however most of the links were blocked or restricted. In addition, I found it very displeasing that myself being a Ktunaxa person, was not aware of a website like this existed, along with many other websites about the Ktunaxa people. As Ktunaxa people, we should be aware of these types of website. I also believe that Indigenous people should have full control and ownership over research materials that are about them. That is why I decided to take it into my own hands to create this page of online accessible resources that have been on the Ktunaxa/Ksanka people. I wanted the page to be created by a Ktunaxa person, and will hopefully break barriers of ownership, trust of our resources being public, and engagement within the Ktunaxa communities.

I am aware that UBC Wiki is an institutionally owned website, and this created many restraints in the purpose of my project, but due to time I had no choice but to use UBC Wiki for the purpose of my project. I hope for the future, this resource page can be on a website owned by the Ktunaxa, like

The resources listed below are not all the resources on the Ktunaxa/Ksanka language, culture, and history, but are merely accessible resources you can find online. After doing my own research on Ktunaxa/Ksanka resources online, I have found a high number of resources from several different websites, unfortunately most are blocked or require higher administrative access. The resources I have listed below can be accessed online and are not blocked. The links, and research range from old resources as old as 1865, to new resources as new as 2020.

**It should be noted that all of the information provided below on these links may not be correct.

The resources will be formatted under five large categories in bold; Language, Culture, History, Maps, Videos, and Other. Then, each large category has sub categories in bold italics, for example, under language there are sub categories of general resources, sounds, grammar, and other. In addition, each resource will be cited; the author, date, name of resource, link, and then underneath the citation will be a brief summary of the resource. Furthermore, I have provided the number of resources available on this website at the very bottom, sources on how I created this page through UBC Wiki, and ways you can edit/create a page yourself. Lastly, I have included an about me section and my contact information at the bottom for any questions, concerns or edits you would like to see on this website.

*Quick Note: The links provided below unfortunately are not able to be opened in a new tab. So, if you are to click on a link, it will take you to the link from this page, and this could be annoying to have to continuously click the back button.

*Here is a tip: You can right click on the link with your mouse (or hold down the link on your phone), and click 'open link in a new tab', to open the links in a new window. Hope this makes things easier on you.

Language Sources

General Resources

  1. Endangered Languages Project. (2020). Ktunaxa. Retrieved from A brief report on the Ktunaxa language Statistics in BC. To be specific, the population, number of fluent, semi, and active speakers from various years.
  2. First Peoples Cultural Council (2018). Ktunaxa language family in Report on BC First Nations Languages p. 42. Retrieved from A report on the Ktunaxa language family in BC.
  3. FirstVoices (2000-2020). Ktunaxa. Retrieved from Learn the Ktunaxa language on the First Voices website; words, phrases, songs, stories, and the alphabet.
  4. Ktunaxa Nation (2020). Traditional Knowledge and Language Sector. Retrieved from This link takes you to the Ktunaxa nation website, and briefly describes the Traditional Knowledge and Language sector within the Ktunaxa Nation, and how to download the Ktunaxa font on your computer.
  5. Wikipedia (2020). Kutenai Language. Retrieved from Wikipedia page on the Ktunaxa language. This website contains the Kutenai language classification, typology, current status, history, phonology, and grammar.
  6. ʔaq̓amnik̓ Elementary School. Online Resource Links for Families. Retrieved from This is a fantastic website of the ʔaq̓amnik̓ Elementary School. They provide resources to learn the language, such as, downloadable PDFS, the grammar, quick pronunciation guide, and so much more.


  1. FirstVoices (2020). Ktunaxa Alphabet. Retrieved from This is the FirstVoices website, but specifically takes you to the Ktunaxa alphabet, where you can listen to an elder pronouncing the Ktunaxa sounds
  2. Language Geek (2009). Ktunaxa/Ksanka Kootenai Language. Retrieved from This link provides the phonology of the Kootenai language and pronunciation guide.
  3. Mithun, M. (1999). Kutenai Phonology. Retrieved from A resource that contains the phonological inventory of the Kutenai language by Marianne Mithun.
  4. Omniglot (1998-2020). Kutenai Phonology and Pronunciation Guide. Retrieved from Another link that takes you to a brief description of the Kutenai language and the alphabet. There is a video on this website where you can learn the alphabet and listen to how it is pronounced.


  1. Chamberlain, A. (1894). Incorporation in the Kootenay language. Retrieved from A historical archive from 1894 by anthropologist Alexander Chamberlain, where he describes incorporation of the pronoun-object.
  2. Chamberlain, A. (1909). Some Kutenai Linguistic Material. Retrieved from Chamberlain extensively researched the Kutenai grammar through a Kutenai legend of coyote and grizzly bear. This can be included under legends/stories, but for the purpose of Chamberlains research, it will remain here.
  3. Dryer, M. (1996). Kutenai Grammatical Relations. Retrieved from Dryer researched and identified Kutenai grammatical relations (subject, direct object, and indirect object).
  4. Mithun, M. (1999). Kutenai Morphology in The Languages of Native North America. Retrieved from Mithun researches the Kutenai grammar through linguistic analysis.
  5. Mithun, M. (1999). Kutenai Morphology in The languages of Native North America. Retrieved from An additional text from Mithun's research on the Kutenai grammar that was not found on the previous link.


  1. Boas, F. (1919). Kinship Terms of the Kutenai Indians. Retrieved from Boas identifies kinship terms of the Kutenai language.
  2. Mithun, M. (1999). Kutenai Detailed Description in The languages of Native North America. Retrieved from Mithun gives a detailed description of the history and research on the Kutenai language.
  3. OLAC (2020). Resources in and about the Kutenai language. Retrieved from This website contains a comprehensive database of resources that have been done on the Kutenai language, however, majority of the links provided on this website are blocked, or corrupted. Most of the archives provided are also owned or located at the UC Berkeley archival database.
  4. Smet, P.J. (1865). Kootenay Tribe Vocabulary in New Indian Sketches (pp. 118-126). Retrieved from This is an interesting resource from 1865 of a missionary reporting the vocabulary of the Kootenai language, however the spelling from this time is quite different from the present day spellings. At first glance, you may not even realize that Smet is writing about the Kootenai language.

Culture sources


  1. Boas, F., & Chamberlain, A. (1918). Kutenai Tales. Retrieved from A complete compilation of Kutenai tales by Boas and Chamberlain.
  2. Ktunaxa Nation (2020). Creation Story. Retrieved from A shortened version of the Kootenai creation story on the Ktunaxa Nation website.
  3. Schaeffer, C. (1949). Wolf and Two Pointe Buck. Retrieved from The Kootenai legend of wolf and two pointe buck

History Sources

  1. Author unknown (1893). Some Characteristics of Northwestern Indians. Retrieved from An interesting resource of who the Kootenai people are from 1893.
  2. Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (2020). History and Culture. Retrieved from A resource to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes website, who they are and their history.
  3. Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (2020). Kootenai Culture Committee. Retrieved from This link brings you to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes website, specifically, describing what the Kootenai Culture Committee is.
  4. Ktunaxa Nation (2020). Ktunaxa Nation Council. Retrieved from This link describes the history of the Ktunaxa Nation Council in BC and what their goals are.
  5. Ktunaxa Nation (2020). Who We Are: The four pillars. Retrieved from This link brings you to the Ktunaxa Nation website, and describes who the Ktunaxa people are, and the four pillars of the Ktunaxa Nation.
  6. Mason, O., & Hill, M. (1901). Pointed Bark Canoes of the Kutenai and Amur. Retrieved from This resource explores the Kootenai canoe, how it is made, types, etc.
  7. Native-Languages (1998-2020). Ktunaxa Archive. Retrieved from An interesting old archive of a description on the Ktunaxa in BC.
  8. Native-Languages (1998-2020). Kutenai Tribe Archive. Retrieved from An interesting old archive of a description on the Kutenai Tribes in the US.
  9. The Canadian Tribute To Human Rights (2008). Ktunaxa Language Plaque: Equality, Dignity, & Rights. Retrieved from This website contains a picture of a Ktunaxa language plaque. The plaque is written in the Ktunaxa language.
  10. Wikipedia (2020). Kutenai. Retrieved from The official Wikipedia page for the Kutenai peoples history.


  1. Native-Land (2015). Ktunaxa Territory. Retrieved from If you look up: Canada; Vitality; severely endangered, and click search, there will be a map that represents the Ktunaxa language with a yellow marker in British Columbia. There is a brief description of the language
  2. Native-Languages (1998-2020). Idaho Indian Map. Retrieved from A map of the Kootenai Tribe in Idaho.
  3. UNESCO (2010). Atlas of the world’s languages in danger. Retrieved from A Ktunaxa language map can be found on this website, but you have to look up: Canada; Vitality; severely endangered, and click search, there will be a map that represents the Ktunaxa language with a yellow marker in British Columbia. There is a brief description of the language as well.


  1. Gahr, T. (2013, June 25). The Origins of Culture: An Exploration of the Ktunaxa Creation Stories. Retrieved from A video of Ktunaxa community members speaking about the creation story.
  2. Living the Language (2014). Canada: The Ktunaxa. Retrieved from Living the language provides a video documenting language revitalization within the Ktunaxa community.
  3. ʔaq̓amnik̓ Elementary School (2020). Ktunaxa Language Videos. Retrieved from Another great resource on the ʔaq̓amnik̓ elementary school website. Follow along with the videos to learn the colors, animals, numbers, and so much more.


  1. Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (2020). Retrieved from Official website of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation.
  2. Internet Archive (2020). Kutenai. Retrieved from Here, you can find old archives of resources on the Kutenai language, culture, and history.
  3. Ktunaxa Nation (2020). Retrieved from Official website of the Ktunaxa Nation Council.
  • Total online available resources: 41

How to edit/create a page on UBC Wiki

When I first decided to do this research project, I was advised to use UBC Wiki. I watched the UBC Wiki tour video and then created a sandbox page from the create tab. Watch the video link above to learn how to create and edit a UBC Wiki page. Simply, you need a UBC Campus Wide Login in order to edit this page. However, anyone with the link has access to view it.

About me/Contact Information

Kiʔsuʔk kyukyit q̓api niskiⱡ. Hu qakⱡik Aiyana Twigg. Hu n̓ini Ktunaxa ȼ Wan̓muqantik. Hu qaki qaxi ʔakink̓umⱡasnuqⱡiʔit. My name is Aiyana Twigg, and I am a member of the Ktunaxa nation from Tobacco Plains. I have created this page as part of my FNEL 382 final project, however, I hope this page will become a community-based engaged project for years to come! Email me at if you have any concerns, questions, or edit suggestions to the page. Taxas!