Commander Glacier seen from near the landing where the Farnham Glacier blockade was in 2008. Photo courtesy of Pat Morrow.

Breathe a collective sigh of relief!

This was a long time coming. The Ktunaxa Nation Council had a special celebratory day on Saturday when they announced that Qat’muk, the Jumbo Valley, will stay pristine for generations to come!

This is big news–so many people worked towards this for over 25 years, people who have been part of the resistance to develop this important pristine wild area into another ski resort for all this time.

The struggle to keep Qat’muk wild has again brought people together to celebrate everything it stands for and everything that it will continue to be. The Ktunaxa Nation’s leadership and determination to protect this area and manage traditional lands has been so important.

Public and private funding through a partnership between the Ktunaxa, the provincial and federal governments, and conservation groups has enabled the buyout of all tenures and interests held by Glacier Resorts Ltd. 

The protected area will cover at least 600 square kilometres and connect with other protected habitats. Work remains to determine the final boundaries and land uses.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson noted that Indigenous protected areas are becoming an increasingly important part of conservation efforts in Canada. The federal government has set a conservation goal of 25% of Canada’s land and sea area by 2025.

Hopefully this is a turning point where the future holds more Indigenous management of traditional lands, more protected biodiversity, more clean air, land and water and more hope for our children and grandchildren.

Thank you to everyone who committed time, energy, money, blood, sweat and tears over the decades to help keep Qat’muk wild. You can be proud. You made a difference.

EcoSociety took the province to court in 2012 arguing that the creation of the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality was unlawful and unconstitutional. We lost, and now we’re looking forward to the municipality being dismantled.

As people across the Kootenays have been saying at rallies, on petitions, through music, in films, in letters, in post cards, and on bumper stickers for almost three decades, “we like our Jumbo wild!”

Stay tuned to celebrate with us soon that a wild and pristine Qat’muk is no longer under attack from Glacier Resorts developers. We need to come together as your West Kootenay EcoSociety community and take a moment to be proud of this decades’ long struggle before we take on the next challenge.

Thank you again for being a part of this movement, and please take a moment to pause and know that we’ve won this struggle.