The McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) is urging Victoria to cancel plans for a calf moose hunt this year that is planned for part of its traditional territory.
MLIB says current provincial plans call for up to 100 calf moose to be killed during this year’s hunting season to aid in recovery of the Southern Mountain Caribou. Caribou are listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act and the B.C. government is considering several strategies to help caribou recovery in key areas of the province. MLIB says the calf moose trial was proven ineffective in aiding caribou recovery, during a meeting with government representatives last month.
“We are disappointed that the BC Government would plan to kill up to 100 young moose in our territory as an experiment to help with caribou recovery,” said Jayde Duranleau, MLIB Deputy Chief, in a news release. “This does not align with our traditional knowledge, our cultural practices nor our traditional laws. The B.C. government wants to conduct this experiment in our traditional territory without our consent. There is no proof that killing baby moose will help with caribou recovery.
“Every aspect of this scheme to allow up to 100 calf moose to be killed to support caribou recovery is illogical. The B.C. government is proceeding without our consent in an era of reconciliation where we thought we were supposed to be working in collaboration and with respect for each other as a government. We feel we are being forced to accept another colonial process that is detrimental to our self-governance, and our ability to apply our own indigenous laws and stewardship over our unceded ancestral lands. We are prepared to continue to work with the B.C. government to determine the best options to help with caribou recovery but not if the process involves B.C. telling our nation how things will be done in our territory. Those days are done. It’s a new day in McLeod Lake territory and a new day in every other nation’s territories in B.C. Enough of this our way or the highway governance.”
Duranleau says MLIB has written to several B.C. ministers urging government to cancel plans to allow calf moose hunting this year. She says MLIB would consider other options to help support caribou recovery including a wolf cull in specific areas of its territory.