The Ktunaxa Nation is attempting to challenge the British Colombia government's recent approval of a controversial year-round ski resort that will sit in Qat'muk (GOT-MOOK), a profoundly sacred area to the Ktunaxa Peoples in southeastern British Columbia.
As explored in the documentary film, Qat'muk: Where the Grizzly Bears go to Dance, the Ktunaxa Nation has been opposed to the ski resort ever since it was first proposed, in 1991. The Ktunaxa maintain that the Jumbo Glacier Resort would "directly interfere with lands that are of the utmost spiritual importance to the Ktunaxa Nation". For the Ktunaxa, Qat'muk is home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit. It is vital to both Ktunaxa culture and the region’s environment.
"The BC Government’s approval of the resort in the heart of Qat’muk represents a desecration of a principal Ktunaxa sacred site, the potential undoing of Ktunaxa traditional spiritual and religious practices, and consequently a significant and unjustifiable violation of Ktunaxa constitutional rights," The Ktunaxa Nation explains in a July 24 Press Release.
"The Ktunaxa have a stewardship obligation and duty to the Grizzly Bear Spirit and Qat’muk," says Ktunaxa Nation Chair, Kathryn Teneese.
"Ktunaxa have been on record as being opposed to this resort since it was first proposed, principally on the spiritual importance of the Qat’muk area for Ktunaxa people, as well as the concerns for the protection of wildlife populations, biodiversity and water quality."
"Throughout the consultation process, the Ktunaxa Nation clearly and consistently indicated that proceeding with the resort would destroy the spiritual, cultural and environmental values of Qat’muk. Yet, they did not hear our words."
"We now have no other choice but to challenge the BC Government's decision making process," continues Teneese. "We feel that this decision will not stand in a court of law, and will be found to show that the BC Government did not make the correct decision in approving the resort in the heart of Qat'muk."
The Ktunaxa are now in the process of applying for Judicial Review of the approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort.
"However, this legal challenge is an expensive proposition to the Ktunaxa, and we are currently bearing this cost alone. As a result, we are inviting the public to contribute to our legal costs through our web site www.beforejumbo.com. There is also a second fund for visitors which will support the cultural activities and education related to Qat’muk. Donations to this fund qualify as charitable donations. We cannot issue tax receipts for the legal fund, but we can for all donations over $20 to the cultural activities fund. All contributions are greatly appreciated."
For more information on Qat'muk, or to donate money either to the legal action fund, or to the charitable activities fund, please visit: www.beforejumbo.com For more information on the Ktunaxa visit: www.ktunaxa.org. You can also find updates and show some support at: http://www.facebook.com/qatmuk
For Further Information Contact:
Ktunaxa Nation Council