Skiers on Jumbo Mountain in the Purcell Range, known to the Ktunaxa Nation as Qat’muk. (Jumbo Mountain Resort)

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

Re: The limits of Indigenous rights (B.C. Views, Nov. 6, 2017)

Tom Fletcher’s column regarding lessons learned from the Jumbo Glacier Resort Supreme Court of Canada ruling had multiple errors in fact. On behalf of the Ktunaxa Nation Council I make the following offer of correction.

Fletcher wrote that the Jumbo Valley – Qat’muk as it is known by Ktunaxa – was not in a “declared territory” and was not part of treaty negotiations.

In fact, the Kootenay Nation Land Claim and Declaration expressed the extent of Ktunaxa territory in British Columbia, an area including Qat’muk and the Jumbo Valley, in 1981. The 1993 Ktunaxa Nation’s Statement of Intent, the foundational document for every treaty negotiation table in B.C., expresses the same territorial boundary that includes Jumbo. Furthermore, the Jumbo Valley itself was subject to repeated discussions and expressions of interest at the treaty table by Ktunaxa for many years.

The article made a series of errors in the timeline of Ktunaxa efforts to protect Qat’muk. Ida Chong was not Aboriginal Relations Minister when Ktunaxa gave the Qat’muk Declaration to the provincial government in 2010. She received our delegation on behalf of the province as a Minister of the Crown, a task she executed with grace and aplomb.

Furthermore, Adrian Dix did not invite Ktunaxa Nation to the B.C. legislature in 2011. Ktunaxa Nation was coming to Victoria with Scott Niedermayer for the one-year anniversary of the Qat’muk Declaration and Dix agreed to support our efforts less than a week prior.

Fletcher implied that our efforts are financially supported by environmental organizations. In fact, Ktunaxa Nation produced and paid for the “expensive public relations and legal offensive” as well as “the national newspaper ads, glossy press materials, custom banners and a lavishly produced video” on our own.

None of these errors credit Ktunaxa with agency. Ktunaxa Nation Council pursued these objectives without the direction or invitation of any outside party.

Fletcher wrote that Qat’muk is a myth and a legend. However disappointed we may be with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the court did not dispute Ktunaxa spiritual beliefs and practices to be genuine and sincere.

Finally, the article referenced the “assertion of veto power.” Ktunaxa Nation have not asserted nor claimed veto power through its efforts to protect Qat’muk. The constant spectre of veto is not of our creation, however much it appears in the media.

If lessons are to be learned they should be based on facts.

Troy Sebastian, on behalf of Ktunaxa Nation, Lkwungen territory

Just Posted

Houston athlete trying out for regional girls’ team

Zone 7 girls’ team is first in eight years

Winter road maintenance standards boosted

Quicker response times, longer winter tire season to be implemented

HVAC overhaul to continue this summer

Upgrades at Houston Secondary School (HSS) are a long-time coming, according to… Continue reading

Northern B.C. rail service is unreliable and inadequate, trade minister says

Bruce Ralston pushes federal minister of transport to ensure reliable supply of rail cars

Celebrate the Value of Volunteering

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Most Read