Clears path for creation of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area
in the Central Purcell Mountains
(January 18, 2020) – The Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) is honoured and heartened to announce that Qat’muk, which includes the Jumbo Valley, will remain wild. The Jumbo Glacier Resort, a source of great conflict for the last 30 years, will not be built now, or ever.
Thanks to a collaboration between KNC, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, development rights in the Jumbo Valley have been fully and permanently extinguished. Public and private funding has enabled the buyout of all tenures and interests held by Glacier Resorts Ltd. This has been secured through an agreement between the Province and Glacier Resorts Ltd., in turn enabled by an agreement between the Nature Conservancy of Canada (on behalf of the Ktunaxa Nation) and Glacier Resorts Ltd.
After 30 years of resisting development of these traditional lands, KNC is excited to move forward immediately to ensure effective stewardship and conservation of the central Purcell mountains, encompassing Qat’muk. The KNC is working towards the creation of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) in the Central Purcell Mountains in southeastern British Columbia. An IPCA is distinguished by Indigenous creation and founded on the Indigenous relationship to land. It will serve to protect both cultural values and biological diversity in part of the Central Purcell Mountains for all time.
The creation of the IPCA will take several years of collaboration between KNC, the federal and provincial governments, and other parties. KNC envisions the area spanning about 70,000 hectares immediately north of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and encompassing the Jumbo valley and parts of adjacent watersheds.
Defining boundaries and stewardship objectives for a protected and conserved area is hoped to be underway by late 2020 through an agreement between the KNC and the BC government in consultation with local communities and stakeholders. Access in the area will remain status quo during discussions on the IPCA.
This initiative was made possible by a $16.2 million contribution from the Government of Canada through the Canada Nature Fund. An additional $5 million of funding has come from the Wyss Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Patagonia, the Columbia Basin Trust and Donner Canadian Foundation.
A celebratory event is being held in Cranbrook on January 18 to thank the many organizations and individuals who have made tremendous contributions over the years to keep Qat’muk wild. KNC also acknowledges all those who will be working together to realize a cultural and biodiversity vision for the Central Purcells through the establishment of an IPCA.