ʔa·kisk̓aqǂiʔit / Cranbrook, BC (October 26, 2022) – The City of Cranbrook recently accepted a national award from the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) for Best Advertising Campaign.
The award recognized the exceptional work produced in the Ktunaxa Homelands campaign, which launched in the spring of 2022.
The campaign, which depicted the Ktunaxa Creation Story through a three-part video series, was a collaboration between the Ktunaxa Nation, Cranbrook Tourism, Tourism Fernie and Tourism Kimberley.
The Ktunaxa Homelands campaign aims to help locals and visitors gain an understanding of how the Rockies and Kootenay waterways were formed, while appreciating the significance of the Hoodoos, all from a Ktunaxa perspective.
The Ktunaxa Nation Council Economic Investment Sector and their partners started work on the promotional campaign in 2020.
Janice Alpine, responsible for Ktunaxa Tourism Engagement, recognized that the Kootenay Region—her homeland of Ktunaxa ʔamakʔis—was not a well-known location, yet was a part of “SuperNatural BC,” and “Beautiful BC” campaigns.
Alpine recognized that the Ktunaxa story and perspective were needed to support those campaigns, and were clearly missing.
“As we reclaim our stories of the land, we can now share with our neighbours and visitors,” she said. “We want to create an experience to be held in the memory, which can be taken away and revisited anytime.”
Darren Brewer, Business Development Office for the City of Cranbrook accepted the award at the EDAC’s annual conference in Kingston, Ontario, in early October.
“It was an honor to accept this prestigious national award on behalf of our communities,” he said. “Ktunaxa Homelands won 2 awards, ‘Best Advertising Campaign’ and was a contender for the EDAC Cup which recognizes the best of the best meaning we were one of the top 3 in Canada! Thank you and congratulations to everyone who contributed, especially to Janice and Kristy, whose vision and passion created this meaningful initiative. This award is a testament to teamwork, and more importantly provided a national stage for the Ktunaxa Homelands project."
Alpine said that “Visitors to our homelands are looking for answers to questions like ‘Is there a tribe here?’ and ‘What did they use this land for?’ They want to know about places they visit, the places they paddle, hike to, and bike through. Right where they are standing—what does that place mean to Ktunaxa?”
She added that it was only through the support of the partners, including the destination management organizations, Columbia Basin Trust, Destination BC and Ktunaxa citizens, that the Ktunaxa Homelands campaign was realized.
Collaboration Lead Kristy-Jahn Smith of Cranbrook Tourism, said, “Visitors to our region want to know the history of this place, and we know we have a role to play in communicating the broader history of our region and its first peoples.
“We want to support Ktunaxa in telling their stories in their words. I feel we have achieved that in this collaboration, and look forward to more work together in future.”
The project spanned across the Ktunaxa Homelands, including the communities of Cranbrook, Kimberley, and Fernie, and was supported with funding from the communities as well as the Columbia Basin Trust, Destination British Columbia.