First Nation challenging government’s approval of Jumbo Glacier Resort

The Ktunaxa Nation is following through on its July announcement that it will contest the B. C. government’s decision.

The Ktunaxa Nation is following through on its July announcement that it will contest the B. C. government’s decision to approve the development of Jumbo Glacier Resort.

Friday, November 30th will be the filing date for the Ktunaxa’s application for judicial review of the resort’s approval, which will be submitted in Vancouver with the BC Supreme Court. The filing will coincide with a protest rally in Cranbrook, where court proceedings are expected to be held.

“Ktunaxa have been on record as being opposed to this resort since it was first proposed,” Ktunaxa Nation chair Kathryn Teneese said in a media release. “Our opposition is based 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.”

The Ktunaxa maintain that the intended location for the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort is at the heart of one of their main sacred sites called Qat’muk (GOT MOOK), which is home to the spirit of the grizzly bear and is of vital importance to their traditional culture. Their arguments in court will include how approval of the resort represents a desecration of a principal Ktunaxa sacred site, the likely undoing of Ktunaxa traditional spiritual and religious practices, and consequently a significant and unjustifiable violation of Ktunaxa constitutional rights.

“The resort was approved despite the strong evidence of the critical impact it would have upon our spirituality and culture,” said Teneese. “We now have no other choice but to challenge the B.C. government’s decision-making process. We feel that this decision will not stand in a court of law, and will be found to show that the B.C. government did not make the correct decision in approving the resort in the heart of Qat’muk.”

Efforts by Ktunaxa to convey the cultural, spiritual and religious significance of Qat’muk included the release of the Shaffer Economic Report, which concluded the resort would have no net economic benefit to B.C. because it was based on outdated market growth forecasts.

“What I’d like to encourage people to do is inform themselves as much as possible about the issues,” Teneese said, “and also offer up us as being available to discuss this if anybody is interested in hearing more from us.”

For more information on the Ktunaxa Nation’s campaign, visit www.beforejumbo.com.

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