The Jumbo Glacier Resort project team extends open arms to all First Nations and values the long-standing support of the Shuswap Indian Band, the closest First Nation to the project site. The team continues to seek common ground with all First Nations, including the Ktunaxa, and it has a strong desire to maintain amity and to continue working towards a benefits agreement, but it has an equally strong desire for the truth be told and that history not be ignored or misrepresented.
In November, 2010, twenty years after the comprehensive land use, environmental assessment and master planning reviews for Jumbo Glacier Resort had begun, the Ktunaxa Nation declared the entire Toby-Jumbo watershed, “home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit.” The Toby-Jumbo watershed includes Panorama Mountain Village and the Jumbo Glacier Resort project site. The upper Jumbo Valley, where the Jumbo Glacier Resort base will be situated, was singled out as a refuge area and a “most sacred core”.
Never before in the project’s then-Twenty year history had Qat’muk or the existence of a “Sacred” refuge area for the Grizzly Bear Spirit been mentioned.
The Ktunaxa had participated extensively in the CORE land use review process, the environmental assessment project specifications and review process, the master planning process and had begun negotiating an impact management and benefits agreement with the proponent. Never before in the project’s then-20 year history had Qat’muk or the existence of a refuge area for the Grizzly Bear Spirit been mentioned. The claim, accompanied by large public relations efforts complete with mal-informed celebrities, strained credibility and was met with offense and indignation from other First Nations and stakeholders.
As the resort enters the construction phase, the project team remains positive and is looking forward to the moment when it will be possible to work cooperatively and conclude an Impact Management and Benefits Agreement with the Ktunaxa.