Park Place Lodge

The area of the proposed ski resort is sacred to the Ktunaxa Nation.

A proposed ski resort west of Invermere. B.C. has upset a local First Nations group. Members of the Ktunaxa Nation say the area is sacred ground and should not be developed.

About 50 members of the Ktunaxa Nation are preparing to address the B.C. Provincial Government on Monday to make a declaration in the Legislature.

“The declaration which will be made public on Monday, I can’t give you too many details at this point, does pertain to the Toby Creek Jumbo Watershed. We’re looking for people to understand that Qat’muk, which is the name of the place, is a sacred area to the Ktunaxa people, with deep spiritual connection, and it is the home of the grizzly bear spirit,” said special projects coordinator Roy Sebastian

It’s also the site of a proposed $450-million ski resort that proponents want to build about 55 kilometres west of Invermere.

The Ktunaxa Nation Council says the stewardship the Nation has in connection to the land in its traditional territory is the foundation for the declaration.

“I think it’s the importance of Qat’muk, the Jumbo area, how important it is to our people, and the animals that live there, the grizzly bear, he holds everything for us,” said delegation member Herman Alpine.

The delegation to the Legislature claims that this declaration will have political significance.

“It’s an exercise in sovereignty for the Ktunaxa Nation. The government will be receiving and welcoming the Ktunaxa in the Legislature, and that in itself is why the journey is historical and significant,” added Sebastian.

The arrival of the delegation on Monday will mark the first time the Ktunaxa Nation flag has ever been brought into the B.C. Legislature.

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