On March 20, 2012, the BC Government approved Jumbo Glacier Resort in the heart of Qat’muk, threatening critical grizzly bear habitat, and ignoring the sacred value of the area to the Ktunaxa.
With your help, we can prevent this mistake. We invite you donate to either our LEGAL FUND, OR if you would prefer, our CHARITABLE FUND for cultural activities related to Qat’muk. All donations are greatly appreciated, and will be used in a respectful manner to preserve Qat’muk for future generations.
For Immediate Release
January 6th, 2014
Ktunaxa Challenge Jumbo Resort In BC Supreme Court
Vancouver – 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. 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. 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 ten 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.
Sharing the Spirit of Qat’muk – Friday, Nov. 22nd 7:00 PM Key City Theatre
“Sharing the Spirit of Qat’muk” is an evening of performances, videos and education about Qat’muk. Admission is by donation and the funds raised will be used to support the Ktunaxa Nation’s legal efforts to stop the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort. The event will include Ktunaxa Nation dance and drum performances, story-telling and videos, all intended to help the audience understand the significance of Qat’muk for the Ktunaxa Nation. There will also be a visual presentation by Pat and Baiba Morrow on sacred mountain valleys around the world.
The Ktunaxa Nation’s application to the BC Supreme Court for a judicial review of the BC government’s decision to approve the Jumbo Glacier Resort project will be heard in court over ten days beginning on January 6th, 2013. The location of the court hearing (Cranbrook or Vancouver) is currently being contested, but we are hoping that at least a significant portion of the hearing will be held at the BC Supreme Court in Cranbrook.
The BC government and the proponent (Glacier Resorts Ltd.), both respondents in the case, have filed their evidence to the BC Supreme Court. Our legal team (Peter Grant and Associates) and staff are currently reviewing this evidence and preparing further response evidence. This is in addition to the huge volume of evidence submitted to the court on Nov. 30th, 2012 as part of the KNC’s application for judicial review.
The Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality (represented by their three person mayor and council presiding over a municipality with no residents) applied to the BC Supreme Court to also be a respondent in the court case….that is, to argue against the views and positions of the KNC from the court. Our legal team did a great job and were successful in convincing a master of the Supreme Court to turn down the municipality’s application. The municipality has decided to appeal the master’s decision.
Presumably because of a lack of funding to develop the main part of the resort, and faced with an October 2014 deadline for ‘substantial commencement’ of the project, Glacier Resorts Ltd. (GRL) attempted in the summer to start the construction of a Farnham day lodge and to initiate summer skiing on the Farnham glacier. KNC staff sought to protect Ktunaxa interests by intervening in government decisions about the proposed day lodge. Many of you will also have heard about the efforts of Jumbo opposition groups to stop or slow the Farnham developments. The result of these efforts are that no summer glacier skiing occurred this year and no progress was made to build the daylodge. However, GRL did obtain permits required for the construction of the daylodge from both the provincial government and the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality.
KNC chairperson Kathryn Teneese made a presentation about Qat’muk and the threat of the Jumbo Glacier Resort to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, Mr. James Anaya, during his October fact-finding mission to Canada. It is hoped that Mr. Anaya’s report from his mission will bring international attention to the need for Canada and BC to address the wide range of concerns raised by Indigenous representatives.