The building of the Jumbo Glacier Resort in the Kootenays does not breach the Ktunaxa First Nation’s constitutional right of religious freedom, according to a November 2 Supreme Court of Canada decision that brings the resort one step closer to reality.
The Ktunaxa’s traditional land includes the area where Glacier Resorts is seeking to build the year-round ski resort. Ktunaxa call the land Qat’muk is and say it is spiritually significant as it is home to Grizzly Bear Spirit.
The ruling comes more than two years after the Ktunaxa’s initial appeal through the B.C. Court of Appeal.
The First Nation said building the resort on this land would “irrevocably impair their religious beliefs and practices,” according to the decision.
The judge disagreed and concluded “neither the Ktunaxa’s freedom to hold their beliefs nor their freedom to manifest those beliefs” would be infringed by the project.
Jumbo would be North America’s only year-round ski resort. The proposed site is 110 hectares located 53 km west of Invermere at the foot of Jumbo Mountain and Jumbo Glacier. The resort itself has plans for 5,500 rooms and 750 beds for staff.