Ktunaxa appealing Supreme Court decision on Qat’muk
Today, the Ktunaxa Nation announced 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, states a Ktunaxa Nation press release issued today (May 5).
“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. “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.”
The proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort is situated in the Jumbo Creek Valley and on surrounding glaciers and high alpine, 55 km west of Invermere.
The area is also Qat’muk – 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 appeal will be heard in the British Columbia Court of Appeal later this year or in early 2015.