(Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Name of Lower Kootenay Band’s new health building revealed

Wilfred Jacobs was a respected Elder who fought for Indigenous rights

At an emotional ceremony on May 21, the Lower Kootenay Band (LKB) unveiled the name of the newly built health facility.

The 13,365-sq.ft. facility will house LKB administration and health staff, including a full-time registered nurse.

In past years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the LKB typically hosted a pow wow during the Blossom Festival weekend, which brought hundreds of spectators from far and wide.

“It was just earlier this year when the the restrictions were lifted,” said Nasukin Jason Louie.

“There wasn’t enough time to plan for a pow wow or time to fundraise. So, we put our focus and efforts into the grand opening, to do it as safely as possible.”

At the grand opening, dozens of LKB members and Creston residents attended to catch a glimpse of the unique architecture inside the canoe-shaped building.

After a dance blessing from Acosia Red Elk accompanied by the Eya Hey Nakoda drum group, the name was announced – Wilfred Jacobs Building.

“Wilfred fought right until the end of his life for true justice for Yaqan Nukiy and Ktunaxa Nation,” said Master of Ceremonies Ruben Little Head.

“This building is named in his honour. And it is a reminder to us that the fight is not over. We must always fight for our Indigenous rights and title, just as Wilfred did, and his legacy continues on.”

Other than public tours of the building, the celebration included an official ribbon cutting, artisan vendors, a dance exhibition with Eli Snow, Christopher Horsethief, and Alex Wells, as well as a magic show from Jeremy Coyote.

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