Today’s Poll

Ktunaxa Nation to appeal BC Supreme Court ruling

By Contributor
May 6th, 2014

The Ktunaxa Nation announced Monday that it is appealing the April 3 Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling about the proposed all season ski resort development in the Jumbo Glacier area known to the Ktunaxa as Qat’muk.

To the dismay of the Ktunaxa, the court found that the resort would not cause significant interference with Ktunaxa spiritual beliefs and practices such that the Province needed to factor this interference into its approval of the resort.

“The Supreme Court of Canada already determined in 2004 that Canada’s Aboriginal peoples’ rights must be recognized and respected,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair in a written statement.

“Our beliefs are what make us Ktunaxa and being told that our sacred relationship regarding Qat’muk and its need for protection from this development are not important enough to stop the destruction of our sacred place should concern any British Columbian who cherishes the freedom to practice their religion without interference and respects constitutionally protected rights.”

“As Ktunaxa, Qat’muk has always and will always be sacred, despite what any court tells us,” continued Teneese.

“We will continue to fight the construction of the Jumbo Glacier Resort and appreciate the support we have received from the many non-Ktunaxa organizations, Kootenay residents and people far and wide who oppose this development.”

Qat’muk is where the Grizzly Bear Spirit was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world. For Ktunaxa, Grizzly Bear Spirit is a unique and indispensable source of collective as well as individual guidance, strength, and protection.

Qat’muk’s spiritual importance is deeply connected to its biological significance for living grizzly bears now and in the future.

The Jumbo proposal has been on the books for more than 20 years to create a Whistler-style ski resort and village with hotels, about 55 kilometres from the town of Invermere.

Former NDP premier Mike Harcourt first endorsed the original concept in the early 1990s.

The resort location is in the Purcell Mountains on the site of an old sawmill.

The resort plan calls for 6300 beds including hotels and private residences; more than 20 ski lifts, with over 2500 visitors per day in the winter.

The proposed land tenure includes approximately 6500 hectares and sits in the middle of area populated with grizzly bears and other wildlife.

The appeal will be heard in the British Columbia Court of Appeal later this year or in early 2015.

Categories: General

Other News Stories