About Us

The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is a non-profit history society dedicated to furthering the documentation and presentation of our region’s human and natural history. We are centred in Cranbrook, but work with regional partners to encompass the Columbia Basin region of British Columbia. We take as a first principle that ‘all that has gone before has the potential to inform our present actions and shape our future ones’.

To that end we have entered a partnership with the City of Cranbrook to assist in celebrating the City’s centennial. Through story, publications and signage we are working to reveal aspects of the natural, cultural and built environments that combine to make this a special place to live.

Whenever possible the Columbia Basin Institute acts in partnership with other individuals and organizations. There is so much to do in preserving and recovering our past that we know we will never get it done alone. We offer opportunities to share in the development of public regional collections of historical materials, and in the benefits which that work may offer.

We are intent on working with others to celebrate the diverse possibilities of living within the B.C. watersheds flowing into the Columbia River. The Cranbrook Time Capsule reaches back to the very beginnings of human occupation here, preserving the Ktunaxa Creation Story for residents one hundred years from now. The event Word In the Basin: A Festival of Narration partners with the City of Cranbrook and individual downtown merchants to bring storytelling into the public domain. Based on regional fact and mythic story, the storytellers present our history in an entertaining public manner.

Working with the City of Cranbrook, the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is developing templates in many aspects of public history. In the future these can be used to advantage throughout the region. Our goal is to involve everyone in the work of collecting and sharing our natural and human history resources. After all, isn’t that what Basin Culture is all about? We think so!