Ktunaxa Nation Council

Ktunaxa Nation Council

November 15, 2011 14:00 ET

Scott Niedermayer Provides a Jumbo Assist for Ktunaxa Goal

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2011) - One of the most accomplished hockey players of all time has thrown his support behind the Ktunaxa Nation in their opposition of a resort in the Jumbo Valley, or Qat'muk (GOT-MOOK) as it is known to Ktunaxa.

Located in south eastern British Columbia, Qat'muk is the home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit and the core of a Ktunaxa sacred site. It also provides key habitat for grizzlies and numerous other wildlife species.

Scott Niedermayer joined the leadership of the Ktunaxa Nation Council in the Provincial Legislature today, on the first anniversary of the Qat'muk Declaration. The Declaration outlines the cultural significance of the region to Ktunaxa, and provides principles for appropriate activities and usage within the sacred area, and is expressly opposed to the Jumbo Glacier Resort.

"We are very grateful to Scott, for his support to bring greater awareness to this issue," said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair.

"Scott has shown his great leadership throughout his hockey career and life, and we are honoured that he has chosen to support our call to prevent this jumbo mistake from happening. To have Captain Canada say no to the Jumbo Glacier Resort is a huge boost to our efforts," she continued.

Scott Niedermayer has won every major hockey championship in his career, including the Memorial Cup, World Junior gold, four Stanley Cups, and two Olympic Gold medals, the most recent as captain of Team Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Games.

"I grew up in the Kootenays and value the stunning and rugged beauty that the region has to offer," said Niedermayer.

"I have always been a vocal opponent of development happening in the Jumbo Valley. There are very few areas like this left in the world, and we should preserve it for future generations. I want my children and all British Columbians to be able to enjoy this area, just as I am able to."

That is why I am joining the Ktunaxa in a call for the provincial government to prevent this jumbo mistake," concluded Niedermayer.

In conjunction with the anniversary, the Ktunaxa Nation also released an economic report that refutes many of the claims of economic benefits that the proposed resort would create. The report was prepared by renowned economist, Dr. Marvin Schaffer, and was commissioned by the Ktunaxa Nation to review the true economic benefit that this resort would provide.

"The Shaffer report clearly shows that many of the benefits that the supporters of this resort tout, are just smoke and mirrors," continued Teneese.

"There are just too many risks with this proposed resort, and ultimately for Ktunaxa, the desire to protect this culturally significant area is the most critical. The Ktunaxa are not opposed to development, and in many cases we have supported development throughout our Territory. However, development has to be done in a sensible manner in appropriate locations."

"In this case, approval of a resort in Qat'muk would cause serious and irreversible harm to the Ktunaxa way of life, and it would also be an environmental disaster in south eastern British Columbia. The Provincial decision makers now have an opportunity to say no to this resort and prevent this jumbo mistake."

The Declaration, Shaffer Report and Short Documentary can all be found at www.beforejumbo.com.

To view "An Assessment of the Economic Benefits of the Proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort Project", please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/JumboGlacierAssessment.pdf.

To view the "Shaffer Economic Report Backgrounder", please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ShafferEconomicReport.pdf.

The Ktunaxa Nation has never extinguished their Aboriginal Title within their Traditional Territory, and government has a legal obligation to consult about and accommodate impacts upon Ktunaxa interests.

The Ktunaxa, have lived in their territory since time immemorial and have a deep spiritual connection to the animal world and, in particular, to the grizzly bear. Qat'muk is a very special place where the Grizzly Bear Spirit was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world. 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 interlinked with its importance for living grizzly bears now and in the future. The Ktunaxa have a stewardship obligation and duty to the Grizzly Bear Spirit and Qat'muk.

The Ktunaxa Nation is not opposed to development, but wants to ensure that any development within their territory happens in a manner that is consistent with Ktunaxa values and principles. The Ktunaxa Nation has continuously opposed the development of the proposed Jumbo Glacier resort due to its impacts on Ktunaxa rights and interests, and have outlined appropriate use of this area in the Qat'muk Declaration.

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