The Ktunaxa Nation has announced it will file an application for a judicial review os the Jumbo Glacier Resort on November 30.
The Ktunaxa Nation will submit their filing with the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver, where a contingent of Ktunaxa leadership will make a public statement.
In conjunction with the filing, a rally will take place in Cranbrook, where it is intended the court proceedings will ultimately be held.
Once a court date is set, the Ktunaxa will argue on how the 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.
In March, the B.C. Government approved the resort in the heart of an area the Ktunaxa call Qat’muk (GOT MOOK). Located an hour west of Invermere, the Qat’muk area is home to the Grizzly Bear Spirit, and is vital to Ktunaxa culture and spirituality and the region’s environment.
“The Ktunaxa have clearly and consistently indicated that if this resort is built, it will critically damage our religious rights and freedoms, which are provided to us by the Canadian Constitution,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair.
The Ktunaxa Nation said in a press release Thursday that Qat’muk is where the Grizzly Bear Spirit was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world.
For the Ktunaxa, relying on the continuation of traditional spiritual and religious practices, 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 linked with its importance for living grizzly bears now and in the future.
“Ktunaxa have been on record as being opposed to this resort since it was first proposed,” Teneese said. “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 said that despite efforts made by the First Nation to convey the cultural, spiritual and religious significance of Qat’muk, the B.C. government approved the resort on March 20, 2012.
“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.”