xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ

Many Ways of Working On the Same Thing

The Research Project

The xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ research project, which translates to “many ways of working on the same thing”, is a partnership between Ktunaxa Nation, Interior Health and the University of British Columbia Okanagan. It is overseen by Ktunaxa Elders & Knowledge Holders in the xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ Advisory Group.

This project’s main goals

  1. To explore how Interior Health can learn from Ktunaxa understandings of wellness to provide health services that honour Ktunaxa culture, language and worldviews; and,
  2. To create a Ktunaxa Community Model of Wellness that responds to the question, Qapsin kiʔin ʔakaǂxuniyam? (What would a healthy community look like?).
Community Engagement

In Fall 2018, we hosted eight community gatherings in ʔAq̓am, ʔA·kisq̓nuk, ʔA·kink̓umǂasnuqǂiʔit and Yaqan Nukiy. In total, 53 community members attended for a shared meal and facilitated discussion discussing “What would a healthy Ktunaxa community look like?”

We identified a number of common themes that represented shared priorities for Ktunaxa communities. These themes are presented with explanatory quotes from participants and members of the xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ Advisory Group.

We heard a lot about connection: connection within families, connection between communities, connection across generations as well as connection through culture and language. Our big take-away was that there is a need to address the cultural knowledge disconnect, where communication pathways have been severed due to colonial forces.

This disconnect exists within and across Ktunaxa families, generations and communities. It also disrupts the flow of information between the most culturally knowledgeable community members and Ktunaxa/ non-Ktunaxa professionals that make important decisions in Ktunaxa communities.

We recently applied for a 5-year grant to continue to grow this work, which we will have news on by mid-July 2019. We look forward to continuing to work with Ktunaxa citizens to redefine health and health services to support wellbeing in Ktunaxa communities!

Next Steps

We recently applied for and received a 5-year grant to continue to grow this work. We look forward to continuing to learn from Ktunaxa citizens to redefine health, to work with health services to support wellbeing in Ktunaxa communities, and to support Ktunaxa governance!


This research project has received research ethics approval from the Ktunaxa Nation Council Research Ethics Committee, the Interior Health Research Ethics Board, and the University of Victoria Research Ethics Board. Ktunaxa Nation Traditional Knowledge and Language (TKL) Sector own and control all data generated through this work. All participants, including their family members and subsequent generations, will be granted access indefinitely for as long as the data exists.