Ktunaxa Creation: Hoodoo views in the Land of the Eagle
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Visit the #Ktunaxahomelands and witness the enormous, centuries-old dance of the hoodoos from area golf courses, biking and hiking trails, scenic roads and waterways as you appreciate Ktunaxa Creation.
Enormous sculptures protrude from the earth, subtly shifting with the wind and the water, over time. It’s a dance that’s gone on for centuries. Many travellers and locals know these formations as the Hoodoos, but to those who have occupied the area for more than 10,000 years, these are the ribs of the water monster Yawuʔnik̓, and they can be found throughout the homelands of Ktunaxa People.
“The Hoodoos are an important site, tied to our Creation, and significant to our culture,” said Janice Alpine, tourism engagement lead for the Ktunaxa Nation Council. “They’re part of a diverse landscape in which the Ktunaxa People feel an intricate, unwavering connection to, both spiritually and physically. The nature of this connection is not one of ownership, but one of stewardship. We depend on the land—we always have, we do now, and we will forever. And the land, in turn, depends on us. It’s a symbiotic relationship that we deeply respect, value, and feel an immense sense of responsibility to protect.”
As a traveller within the Ktunaxa Homelands—by water, by foot, by bike or by car—pay attention to the Hoodoo landscape, which provides crucial nesting and feeding habitat for wildlife and birds.
Really stop and take pause; carve out a moment to take in the Hoodoos’ uniqueness, and the feeling they gift you. Take a deep breath. Feel the warmth or wind on your skin.
Notice the intricate beauty of these geographical wonders. The ancient cliff-like formations thrill at every angle. From atop, below, or at a distance, they draw the eye of passersby, igniting their curiosity and capturing their imagination.
These one-of-a-kind landscapes are formed from Yawuʔnik̓’s ribs, a water monster and spirit animal who created disturbances in ancestral times, and was killed in preparation for the human race.
Ktunaxa Creation and Hoodoos formation
Since time beyond the reach of memory, the homelands of the Ktunaxa People were ruled by spirit animals. Yawuʔnik̓, a huge water monster, bothered many of the animals. With news of the human race coming to earth, it was decided by the Chief spirit animal, Naⱡmuqȼin, that Yawuʔnik̓ must be killed.
A Big Chase ensued, which formed the region's waterways, ultimately ending when Yawunik was caught and butchered by Naⱡmuqȼin. Yawunik ribs were scattered across the region, forming the Hoodoos. These iconic landmarks are found throughout the ʔaq̓am, Kukamaʔnam (Kimberley), Columbia Valley and ʔa·kisk̓aqǂiʔit (Cranbrook) regions.
Hoodoos can be spotted while enjoying many of the area’s golf courses, as well as from regional biking and hiking trails, roads and waterways.
Ktunaxa Creation: Hoodoos Itinerary
When you visit here, you are connecting to the landscape formed by Naⱡmuqȼin, Yawunik, and the Big Chase.
Here is a hoodoo-themed itinerary featuring hikes, golf, rivers and bike rides.
WHEN YOU GO
Travel #Ktunaxahomelands and while doing so, support Ktunaxa tourism businesses. Ktunaxa Ready has made it easy for you via this helpful directory.
For hikers looking to experience the homelands' wide open spaces, try this roundup from Cranbrook Tourism, within #Ktunaxahomelands.