Ktunaxa and Qat’muk

In 2010, the Ktunaxa Nation traveled to the BC legislature in Victoria to deliver the Qat’muk Declaration. Qat’muk is the Ktunaxa name of the lands that include the area of the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort. It is within the core of the Ktunaxa Nation territory and we understand that it is the home of grizzly bear spirit. The Declaration outlines the spiritual significance of Qat’muk and is an expression of Ktunaxa sovereignty and stewardship principles. Read the Declaration here.

 Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair: “The Ktunaxa have been opposed to this development for over 20 years. 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.”

Read this 3-part interview series with ʔaq̓am Chief Joe Pierre on the importance of Qat’muk to the Ktunaxa.

Part 1: All Living Things

Part 2: Dancing with Grizzly Bear

Part 3: Our Sacred Spaces Are Natural Spaces

Supreme Court Challenge

The Ktunaxa Nation appealed the BC government approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort, alleging that their religious freedoms were violated when the government approved a massive ski resort development in the heart of Qat’muk, their sacred territory. The case was heard in the Supreme Court of Canada in December 2016. The disappointing ruling confirmed that our legal system does not yet recognize and protect the sacred nature of land, pivotal to many indigenous spirituality. This disappointing decision did not, however, give the green light for the project to proceed. 

In March 2017, we delivered a petition to the transboundary Ktunaxa Nation with 61,526 signatures in support of the Qat’muk Declaration and permanent protection of the Jumbo Valley. We later presented this petition to the BC government.

Now is the time to come together and support the Ktunaxa’s call for an indigenous protected area – it is time for the federal and provincial government’s to come to the table and work with the Ktunaxa to protect Qat’muk once and for all.