On March 17, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the Ktunaxa Nation Council leave to appeal the August 6, 2015, B.C. Court of Appeal decision regarding B.C.’s approval of a Master Development Agreement for a proposed ski resort in an area known as Qat’muk, an area integrally connected with Ktunaxa spiritual beliefs and practices.
The appeal will address not only whether the freedom of religion guarantee in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms encompasses Ktunaxa spiritual beliefs and practices in this case, but also the extent to which the Charter protects the beliefs and practices of other Aboriginal spiritual traditions. The appeal will also address the proper way to characterize a section 35(1) Aboriginal right and the requirement of a decision-maker to consider the Charter when an affected party raises it prior to a decision.
The hearing date has been set for December 1, 2016.