Ski resort to be built on sacred Indigenous land
by Brianna on November 2, 2017 - 11:14pm
In southeastern British Columbia, the construction of a large ski resort is taking place although it is being built on top of sacred Ktunaxa Nation land. According to the beliefs of the Ktunaxa Nation the land on top of which the ski resort will be built is the land of the “grizzly bear spirts” which is an important part of their rituals and beliefs. Therefore, the ski resort would lead their rituals to become useless as it would force the spirit to leave the land. The Ktunaxa nation also argued that the construction of the ski resort would mean that religious freedoms would be violated, although the supreme court of Canada concluded otherwise. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government has the duty to make sure that the right to have religious practices and beliefs is upheld, the government on the other hand does have to the duty to protect objects of religious belief. According to the Constitional Act, the obligation for the first nations to be met with was properly done by the government and also during this time concessions were made which caused the ski resort’s size to be reduced by 60 percent during the two decades of consultation. So, the construction of the ski resort has every right to go underway with construction as it violates no rights and followed protocol correctly Thus, when a consultation has occurred then the construction of the ski resort can be done despite what the first nations will think. Therefore, the construction of the ski resort has the right to be built on the sacred Ktunaxa land.
I believe that the ski resort should not be built on this sacred Ktunaxa Nation land because we should respect the beliefs of the first nations. Indigenous people have been maltreated by the dominant culture in North America years ago and unfortunately today as well. I volunteered at the Kateri Memorial Hospital in Khanawake for 3 years during high school, and during this time I had the opportunity to listen to some of the stories the patients had to tell me. Many of them told me stories about how the government had been cruel to them and did not listen or care about their beliefs, and this hurt them because Canada was their home first but because of how the government and the law treated them they don’t feel at home in Canada anymore. In regard to the ski resort, there are many other places out there in Canada that would be ideal for ski resort and that would not infringe upon on sacred idigneous land because although we might not all believe in the same things or engage in the same practices it is important for us all to respect one another and also our beliefs. A question that develops after reading this is should the governemnt implement laws to indefinitely protect indigenous land?
Platt, Brian. “Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way for B.C. Ski Resort on Sacred Indigenous Land.” National Post, 2 Nov. 2017, nationalpost.com/news/politics/in-key-freedom-of-religion-case-supreme-court-sides-with-b-c-government-over-ski-resort.