Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Court okays development of controversial Jumbo ski resort on sacred BC land

The Purcell Mountains in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, where the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort would be built. Photo: Courtesy of Danny Laroche/Flickr

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that building a year-round ski resort on lands considered sacred by the indigenous Ktunaxa Nation does not violate religious rights, per a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

In a unanimous ruling, nine Canadian Supreme Court justices denied a 2016 appeal filed by the Ktunaxa Nation to block the construction of the highly controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort in British Columbia on the grounds that it impinges upon the Ktunaxa Nation's right to freedom of religion. For their part, the Ktunaxa First Nation argued the proposed construction site in the Purcell Mountains of the Kootenays region of B.C. is where a sacred Grizzly Bear Spirit is believed to inhabit, and the construction of the year-round ski resort would cause the spirit to leave the land.

The Supreme Court ruled that "adequate consultation" was undertaken between the B.C. Government and the Ktunaxa Nation prior to the Government's decision to grant the construction permit to Jumbo Glacier Resort two decades ago and that, given that consultation, "development may proceed without consent." 

The Purcell Mountains strike a magnificent silhouette in the BC skyline. Photo: Courtesy of Sheila Sund/Flickr

"We arrive at these conclusions cognizant of the importance of protecting Indigenous religious beliefs and practices, and the place of such protection in achieving reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous communities," the CBC reported Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin's judgement as reading.

Despite clearing this hurdle, the future for the construction of North America's first-ever, year-round ski resort is still very murky.

Back in 2015, the B.C. Government refused to extend the environmental permit for the resort. Currently, the developers of Jumbo Glacier Resort are appealing that decision. You can read learn more about the controversial project by reading our previous coverage of it.

Play
READ THE STORY
Why Humility is So Important In Backcountry Skiing
Up Next Culture

Why Humility is So Important In Backcountry Skiing

Why Humility is So Important In Backcountry Skiing

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that avalanches are terrifying. They are one of the purest demonstrations of Mother Nature’s immense, uncontrollable power—and unfortunately, more and more often, they are claiming the lives of people that we love. For the average person, news of a deadly avalanche might congest your newsfeed, but passes on in a few days. For the loved ones of the victims, however, this is never the case, the memory of the life lost will always remain.   RELATED: 8 Things I

Play
READ THE STORY
Looking for Powder? The Sierra and PNW Will Score Multiple Feet This Week
Up Next Ski

Looking for Powder? The Sierra and PNW Will Score Multiple Feet This Week

Looking for Powder? The Sierra and PNW Will Score Multiple Feet This Week

The west has featured decent high elevation snow this season, with spots like Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee having solid snow coverage, but in general, the early season hasn't been great to the western U.S. In fact, if you were to compare the annual snowfall at Squaw (80 inches YTD) versus Jay Peak in Vermont (185 inches YTD) you might think you were living in an opposite reality.  But, fear not, all you West Coast skers and snowboarders, because the flood gates should open this week

Play
READ THE STORY
​6 Pieces of Invaluable Backcountry Technology
Up Next Ski

​6 Pieces of Invaluable Backcountry Technology

​6 Pieces of Invaluable Backcountry Technology

The topic of technology comes up again and again between backcountry travelers. Nowadays, with our daily lives revolving around computers and electronic devices, it is understandable that we wish to escape the pull of our devices when we are out in the mountains. However, certain pieces of technology are undeniably helpful to safe backcountry travel. Beacon/Shovel/Probe The holy trinity. It’s as simple as saying, DO NOT go into the backcountry without a working avalanche beacon, shovel, and