Over the last year and a half, School District 8 has been discussing an amendment to its traditional territory acknowledgment, which would have recognized four First Nations from around the area.

That will not be moving forward however after Chief and Council of the Lower Kootenay Band were opposed.

Territory claims were called into question by Chief Jason Louie who also felt he and council were not consulted.

SD8’s Aboriginal education advisory committee, who were considering the amendment, does include a band member….. but at Tuesday’s board of education meeting, LKB Director of Operations Heather Suttie said it was not enough.

“When we are talking about educational issues it’s fine to have someone from our education department that is dealing at the advisory council level. However, when you’re dealing with political issues such as territory, this is something that is completely outside the realm of an employee. It has to be taken up with Chief and Council.”

Suttie asked that the board reach out in future regarding political decisions.

SD8 Board Chair Lenora Treneman said the acknowledgment will not change until the Board ratifies it and that the discussion is ongoing.

Chief Louie also brought up his concern that the Lower Kootenay Band Flag would only be raised in Creston and not in other SD8 areas.

Superintendent Christine Perkins said it was merely a miscommunication.

“Chief Louie knows that it was teacher Ki Louie’s suggestion and I happened to walk in when he was trying to order it. I said, why don’t you order one for all of Creston. It didn’t limit it to just Creston. I had $1000 to spend that day of my discretionary money left. Doesn’t mean we wouldn’t fly it everywhere.”

The conversation is ongoing on whether or not the Yaqan Nukiy flag paired with the Ktunaxa flag will be raised outside of Creston.

Treneman said she hopes to continue to work closely with the Lower Kootenay Band moving forward.