Ktunaxa Jumbo Resort challenge begins in BC Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of British Columbia will hear the Ktunaxa Nation’s challenge of the approval of a Master Development Agreement for Jumbo Glacier Resort, beginning today (Jan. 6).
The resort would be built in the heart of what the Ktunaxa call Qat’muk (GOT MOOK), which is located an hour west of Invermere (55 km). The Ktunaxa Nation is seeking to have the development agreement granted by the province overturned.
“The Ktunaxa have been opposed to this development for 20 years,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair. “We have tried to explain to provincial ministers and other government representatives that Qat’muk is of profound spiritual and cultural importance to our nation and that the resort will desecrate the area and undermine beliefs and practices at the core of Ktunaxa culture and identity.”
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 importance for Grizzly Bear Spirit is inextricably interlinked with its importance for living grizzly bears now and in the future.
“We are not alone in our desire to keep Jumbo wild,” continued Teneese. “There is strong local, regional and provincial opposition to this development. The environmental impacts this project will have will be irreversible, particularly to the grizzly bear population in the area. British Columbians are already wary of risky projects that prioritize resource development over environmental protection. If Jumbo Glacier Resort proceeds, it may cause lasting damage to the relationship between the Ktunaxa and the province.”
During the expected 10-day length of the court hearing, a contingent of Ktunaxa elders, leadership and citizens will be present at the British Columbia Supreme Court building to attend the proceedings. An event in support of the Ktunaxa Nation’s court challenge is also planned for Cranbrook.
Lead image: Hundreds of people took part in a 2012 rally in Cranbrook against the proposed ski resort. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW