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piq-s-mx-ikn - Jumbo Glacier
The Sinixt Nation is opposed to the proposed Master Development Plan for Jumbo Glacier Resort and all and any future developments on our sacred mountain. We wish to express our sincere support to groups and individuals who are actively working to protect the area known as Jumbo Mountain against all developments in this sensitive part of our territory.
To Sinixt people, Jumbo Mountain and all surrounding area is known as "piq-s-mx-ikn" meaning “White Grizzly Bear." The earth is a feminine spirit so we call the land in the feminine form. In the masculine form White Grizzly Bear is called “piq ah ki7lawna7," and Sinixt ll'mix’m (chiefs) also carried this name such as the infamous Alex Christian of kp'itl'els (Brilliant BC.) "piq-s-mx-ikn" is of great cultural and spiritual significance to Sinixt peoples as it is considered one of the strongest spirits on the land.
Today more than ever before Grizzly Bear habitat is dwindling at a rapid pace from development and human encroachment in key areas essential to their survival in our territory. We hereby ask that all corporations, governments, and investors, immediately stop all developments, plans, and exploration in the areas referred to as Jumbo Mountain and the Toby Creek Watershed.
We realize there is confusion amongst individuals in regards to the multiple land claims in the area by ourselves and other indigenous groups. The Sinixt Nation does not wish to create any division within the opposition movement but rather we wish to strengthen our grassroots community opposition to this detrimental project. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have.
The Sinixt Nation is not a political organization but rather a traditional governance system held by Sinixt peoples since time immemorial. We encourage all those working to protect Jumbo to further educate themselves and inform others of the history of the Sinixt/Arrow Lakes Indians in the Columbia Basin and the government of Canada’s forced removal and extinction status of our people.
For 20 years Sinixt Nation members have stood for the interests of the future seven generations and fought to protect our four sacred elements of water, air, earth, and fire in the Headwaters of the Columbia River. If you believe that all life as we know it cannot live without water, earth, air, and fire (think Sun) then you share our beliefs and we hope to strengthen those beliefs with our broader community to create a better world for all generations to come.
Exerpt from Sinixt Lawney L. Reyes' book titled: "White Grizzly Bear's Legacy: Learning to be Indian. (pg.32-33) published 2002."
The White people in Castlegar recognized Alex Christian as an expert hunter. They accompanied him on hunting trips many times during the years he lived there and were fascinated by his knowledge of what they considered wildlife and wilderness.
Alex Christian became very skilled at bear hunting. On one hunting trip, he encountered the white grizzly bear for the first time west of the Selkirk Mountains. Alex was awed by the size and beauty of the bear and believed that that here was a being greater than man. He vowed that he would never hunt or try to kill such a great creature. This was in keeping with the reference the Sin-Aikst Indians felt for the white grizzly bear. When the Sin-Aikst learned of Alex Christian’s resolve, they admired and respected it. They decided to bestow the name Pic Ah Kelowna (White Grizzly Bear) on him. He was to be known by this name for the rest of his life.
The Upper Sin-Aikst land in British Columbia is home to the white grizzly bear. This species of bear is unique and is readily identified by its large size and fur that is silver in color. As the bears move about their habitat in the mountains and valleys between Nakusp and the Selkirks, their silver fur reflects the light of the sun and makes them easy to see. The Sin-Aikst had great respect for the white grizzly bear. They felt that the spirit of this large and beautiful bear had great power. The bears’ usual habitat is the high valleys of the alpine, but they range at all elevations. White grizzly bears fear no animal or being and can be dangerous when encountered in their favorite feeding areas.