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Yellowstone to Yukon Congratulates Ktunaxa First Nation on Anniversary of Qat’Muk Declaration

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative is proud to stand in support of the Qat’muk Declaration and Ktunaxa’s sovereign authority over the lands and waters of Ktunaxa ?amak?is.

November 22, 2016

The Qat’Muk Declaration of the Ktunaxa Nation affirms the spiritual, cultural and ecological values of Qat’muk – the areas known in the Purcell Mountain ranges as Jumbo, Toby-Jumbo, South Fork Glacier, Horsethief, and Farnham Creek watersheds -- and the Ktunaxa’s obligation to uphold their stewardship principles as outlined in the Declaration, according to the philosophy of Yaqaⱡ Hankatiⱡiⱡki na ʔamak. Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is proud to stand in support of the Qat’muk Declaration and Ktunaxa’s sovereign authority over the lands and waters of Ktunaxa ?amak?is.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative honours Ktunaxa’s inherent and prior authority to their lands, and notes the recognition of these rights through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ktunaxa have stated that Qat’Muk is where Kⱡawⱡa Tukⱡuⱡakʔis, the Grizzly Bear Spirit, was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world. Research on grizzly bears for many decades has shown the importance of Ktunaxa ?amak?is, including Qat’Muk, as habitat for grizzly bears, an indicator species for ecological integrity and connectivity across the landscape.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative looks forward to the release of the Ktunaxa Nation Council’s management plan for the refuge area, buffer areas, and management strategies dictated by the Qat’muk Stewardship Principles. We celebrate the rich history of the Ktunaxa Nation and their 10,000 years of stewardship on Ktunaxa ?amak?is, and stand in solidarity as Ktunaxa take their work to protect their sacred sites from desecration to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 1, 2016.

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For more information, contact:

Candace Batycki,
Y2Y Program Director - British Columbia and Yukon
250-352-3830 | candace@y2y.net