Chiefs in Manitoba continue to support their citizens in exercising their recognized Aboriginal and Treaty right to hunt
November 4, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Secretariat Inc. (AMC) continues to stand with its member First Nations, and all First Nations, in supporting their citizens in exercising their Aboriginal and Treaty right to hunt across their traditional territories.
The Provincial government has proclaimed amendments to the Wildlife Act that has the potential to infringe on this recognized and affirmed Treaty right with respect to moose hunting, while expanding and making more room for sport hunters, outfitters, private land owners and other interested third parties to harvest big game on First Nations’ Treaty and traditional territory. The AMC has long opposed any provincial regulation that limits or infringes on this birthright. In the past, the AMC has coordinated First Nations hunting parties on “moose closures” as a protest against unfounded and unscientific provincial justification for limiting moose hunting within First Nation’s territories.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas states, “hunting is not only an affirmed and recognized Aboriginal and Treaty right, it is an inherent and birthright of all First Nations. Respectful hunting has sustained our Nations on our lands for eons without an impact on moose and wildlife populations; but settler interference, including the slaughter of the bison in the mid-1800s, has dramatically affected our ability to sustain our Nations through respectful and sustainable hunting and harvesting practices. First Nations are always mindful of the devastation and loss of the bison and other species and the effect it has had on our First Nations. Now, we face further interference with the current provincial government in the form of amendments to the Wildlife Act that have been proclaimed without any meaningful consultations with our affected First Nations rights holders and without any justification other than protecting settler recreational interests.”
“We will continue to assert and exercise our Treaty right to hunt in spite of unjust and unfounded provincial regulations and amendments on moose closures and the proposed limitations of the fall moose hunting season. These amendments are further interference, further infringement on Treaty rights and further constitute a denial of the food sovereignty that has long sustained First Nations.”
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “the Chiefs in Manitoba will not tolerate this provincial overreach of jurisdiction, but we, as always, remain open to meaningful Crown-First Nations consultation to ensure fairness and the sustainability of our shared wildlife resources.”