Ktunaxa divided on Jumbo

letter

Dear Editor:

Kisuk Qyu Ki’it/Greetings:

I am a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation, a registered status Indian of the Lower Kootenay Indian Band (which is part of the Ktunaxa Nation), a Ktunaxa traditionalist, and a professional consultant in the Aboriginal sector for over 20 years. I share my views on Qatmuk/Jumbo so the public understands that the Ktunaxa Nation itself was divided when it came to Qatmuk/Jumbo.

For starters, many Ktunaxa, including myself, never heard of “Qatmuk” let alone knew where “Jumbo” was going to take place.

I was raised by Ktunaxa elders that spoke the Ktunaxa language fluently, sung our ancient songs, practised our traditional dances, and identified to me historic places where our Sun Dance, blanket dances, and winter dances were held. Most of these cultural teachers have passed on.

Not once in my 45 years did I hear of Qatmuk although I learned early on that the grizzly bear is a Higher Power, which is, what we call in our language, a “Nipika”. That is why, for example, the Ktunaxa Nation remonstrated against the Invermere store that was doing business as Nipika Outdoors Ltd. That term “Nipika” is sacred to us.

But, as a Ktuanxa concerned about our cultural integrity, I couldn’t defend a ghost. As it was taught to me by those revered Ktunaxa elders that passed on, no one can kill a spirit, and the Grizzly Bear spirit itself cannot be pushed around. The Grizzly Bear spirit is ubiquitous.

Moreover, given that the proponent of Jumbo faced a major setback in the environmental assessment process, there was no need for us to spend more money, time and energy going to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The hundreds of thousands of dollars that the leadership at the Ktunaxa Nation Council spent on a lawyer could have been spent on Ktunaxa education bursaries, Ktunaxa economic start-up grants, Ktunaxa graduation awards, investment in Ktunaxa mutual funds, suicide prevention strategies, cultural workshops, etc.

My leadership at the Ktunaxa Nation Council pushed past all the warning signs, the red flags, and internal opposition only to find who was right and who was wrong. But, I am still wondering who was running this gong show known as the Ktunaxa Qatmuk court case?

Rob Louie

Creston / Vancouver

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Nordic club glides into new ski season

Special presentation by Olympian Ingrid Liepa

Remembering the sacrifice

An interview with Australian veteran John Wood, who lives in the Columbia Valley

Sheep-saving mission

On the hunt for a bighorn sheep with a tomato trellis stuck to her head; a Pioneer ridealong

Hockey legend to share message of hope

Theo Fleury will share his story as part of National Addictions Awareness Week

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

B.C. man wanted for alleged ‘serious domestic assault’ in Alberta

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Canada wants free trade deal with southeast Asian nations, Trudeau says

ASEAN nations combined have nearly 650 million people, an economy of US$2.8 trillion, and are already Canada’s sixth-biggest trading partner.

Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary’s vote

The majority of voters said ‘no’ to a potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Most Read