Ktunaxa Nation pleased with Jumbo Municipality dissolution
The Ktunaxa Nation Council is pleased the British Columbia government has taken steps resulting in the dissolution of the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality, by introducing Bill 26 in the provincial legislature.
Jumbo Glacier Resort was a proposed four-season ski resort encompassing four glaciers and including a resort village with 6,500 beds in the remote wilderness of the Jumbo Valley, 55 km from Invermere. It was initially proposed in 1991 by Vancouver-based Pheidias Project Management owner Oberto Oberti.
The 2013 incorporation of the town with no citizens, (with an appointed mayor and council), was an affront to all residents of British Columbia, the Ktunaxa Nation stated in an Oct. 29 media release.
The Ktunaxa Nation Council opposed the Jumbo development for nearly 30 years, as its proposed location was within Qat’muk, an area of vital cultural and spiritual significance. The Ktunaxa have a stewardship obligation and duty to Qat’muk.
In 2020, the announcement of the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in Qat’muk put an end to Jumbo Glacier Resort development, but the municipality was still extant, until this week, the Nation pointed out.
“The Ktunaxa Nation Council thanks all those who stood beside us during this long, protracted fight, and those partners who stand with us going forward,” said Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair Kathryn Teneese. “In some ways the hard work is over, but in other ways, it is just beginning. I am relieved to see that Bill 26 also rescinds the provincial government’s authority to incorporate a mountain resort municipality without residents in the future. This will help to ensure accountability by all governments in the province and the voices of all British Columbians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are heard.”
Local conservation group Wildsight, a key Ktunaxa Nation ally in the fight against Jumbo, also issued a statement, hailing Bill 26 as an important step toward the end of the 30-year battle to keep Jumbo wild.
“The Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality was an end-run around local democracy and land-use decision making by the former government in a desperate attempt to push forward a mega ski resort proposal that faced strong opposition from the local population, the Ktunaxa Nation, grizzly bear biologists and people all around the world,” stated Wildsight Executive Director and Jumbo Wild Lead Robyn Duncan.
“For eight years, B.C. has had a town with no people and no elected mayor and council. The Jumbo Resort Municipality should never have been created in the first place and its dissolution is the right thing to do.
“We can finally leave behind the Jumbo Glacier Resort and move forward in celebration of Ktunaxa leadership for the Qat’muk Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area to steward the cultural and ecological values of this special place.”
Lead image: e-KNOW file art with a grizzly overlooking the old saw mill site in the Upper Jumbo Valley, roughly where the centre of Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality would have been located.