This week, the Ktunaxa Nation will go before the Supreme Court of Canada to present their case—the culmination of a decades long struggle to halt development of a large-scale ski resort proposed in the heart of Qat’muk (the Jumbo Valley), a place of spiritual, cultural and ecological significance in BC’s Purcell Mountains.
“This is a truly significant day for the Ktunaxa Nation, and also for the thousands of Kootenay citizens that stand behind them in this fight,” said Robyn Duncan, Executive Director of East Kootenay environmental organization, Wildsight.
In 2010, the Ktunaxa Nation made public their Qat’muk Declaration, affirming the spiritual, cultural and ecological values of Qat’muk and the Ktunaxa’s stewardship obligation to protect its lands and waters. For more than 10,000 years, the Ktunaxa have stewarded this land; for 25 years, they have been steadfast in their opposition to the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.
Wildsight stands in strong support of the Ktunaxa’s Qat’muk Declaration and their leadership in creating a Qat’muk management plan that upholds the stewardship principles outlined in the Qat’muk Declaration, according to the philosophy of Yaqaⱡ Hankatiⱡiⱡki na ʔamak.
“We understand from Ktunaxa that Qat’muk is where Kⱡawⱡa Tukⱡuⱡakʔis, the Grizzly Bear Spirit, was born, goes to heal itself and returns to the spirit world,” says Robyn Duncan. It includes the Toby-Jumbo Watershed, the South Fork Glacier Creek, Horsethief Creek and Farnham Creeks. The Grizzly Bear Spirit is an important source of guidance, strength, protection and spirituality for the Ktunaxa. Qat’muk’s importance for the Grizzly Bear Spirit is inextricably linked with its importance for living grizzly bears now and in the future.
“Wildsight celebrates the rich history of the Ktunaxa Nation and their 10,000 years of stewardship on Ktunaxa ʔamakʔis. We have been honoured to stand in solidarity with the Ktunaxa Nation in their fight to protect Qat’muk—a fight that will go before the Supreme Court of Canada on December 1st,” says Duncan.
In solidarity with the Ktunaxa Nation, Wildsight, in partnership with Patagonia, will be hosting a screening of Jumbo Wild on November 30th at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Directed by Nick Waggoner and Sweetgrass Productions, Jumbo Wild documents the epic tug of war – between community members, First Nations and conservationists, resort developers and politicians – over the future of the Jumbo Valley. Set against a backdrop of incredible backcountry ski and snowboard footage, Jumbo Wild features unprecedented documentation of all sides of a divisive issue bringing the passionate local fight to protect the Jumbo Valley to life for a global audience for the first time.