Hunting, Fishing, Trapping Brief Treaty History • Royal Proclamation (1763) • British North America Act (1867) • Treaty Six (1876) • Treaty Seven (1877) • Treaty Eight (1899) • Natural Resources Transfer Act (1930) • Constitution Act (1982) – Section 35 • Indian Act (1985) • Metis Settlements Act (1990) Treaty Harvesting Regulations • In Alberta, Treaty Indians are guaranteed a right to hunt, fish and trap for subsistence (food) on all unoccupied Crown lands (not privately owned land). Treaty Indians can do this at any time of the year. • Treaty Indians need to carry their INAC card with them to prove their registered status. Hunting on Private Land • All hunters, fishers and trappers, including status Indians and Métis harvesters can access private land if you they get permission from the land owners. • However…… What does subsistence mean? • Subsistence is the means of supporting life. In other words, what you do in order to survive and/or support you and your family. Exceptions • A status Indian looking to fish (for food) needs to apply to Fish and Wildlife for an Indian Domestic License. • When fishing in a National Park, all individuals need to get a specific permit before doing so. You need to get one for each National Park. • When hunting migratory birds, status Indians do not need a license but do need to abide by bag limits. Métis and Powley • Métis individuals can no longer present a Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) card as proof of their Métis identity* • Métis individuals need to meet the Powley Test* • *However……. The Powley Test • To meet the Powley test, one must provide evidence to support the following: – Self identify as Métis and for how long; – Have an ancestral connection to a historic Métis community in Alberta; - Belong to a contemporary Métis community in Alberta; – Which community and demonstrate acceptance by and involvement in the community; and – Reside in Alberta. Powley Regions • If you meet the Powley test, you will be given a letter confirming your ability to hunt, fish and trap within 160 km of the eight Métis settlements: * Paddle Prairie * Elizabeth * Peavine * Kikino * East Prairie * Buffalo Lake * Gift Lake * Fishing Lake And seventeen historic and contemporary Métis communities: * Bonnyville * Lac Ste. Anne * Cadotte Lake * Peace River * Conklin * Slave Lake * Cold Lake * Smoky Lake * Fort Chipewyan * St. Paul * Fort McKay * Trout Lake * Fort Vermilion * Wabasca * Grouard * Wolf Lake * Lac La Biche Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement • The Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement was signed between the Government of Alberta and Métis Nation of Alberta in 2004. • The agreement recognized a Métis right to hunt, fish and trap within Alberta. • The Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement ended in July 2007 because it was not renewed. General Rules • Firearms shall be registered • No person shall hunt in a dangerous manner • No person shall illegally discharge a weapon or firearm (from a primary highway, at night or within 200 years of an occupied building) • No person shall discharge a weapon from a vehicle • No person shall have a loaded firearm in a vehicle Wastage of meat • No person shall let the edible meat of any animal or bird to be wasted, spoiled, destroyed or abandoned. You must remove all edible meat from a harvested animal or bird and used for food. • Use for Medicinal Purposes Registration of harvest Due to limited numbers, all hunters including people with treaty rights must register certain species of wildlife which include: – grizzly bear; – male bighorn sheep (over 1 year of age); – cougar; – mountain goat or bison. Export of game outside of Alberta • Certain types of game cannot be sent outside of Alberta • You need to contact your local Fish and Wildlife office if you want to take the game you hunted for food outside of Alberta Trapping fur bearing animals (Commercial activity) • An Indian Fur Management License is needed for individuals to trap fur bearing animals within the reserve they live on and sell the fur. – You must be 14 years of age – You can get this license from your Band Administration Office – There is no charge for this license * Applies to Métis Trappers also. Sportfishing • Registered Indians and Métis harvesters are not required to have a sportfishing license but they are required to follow sportfishing regulations. • All other individuals ages 16-64 need to buy a sportfishing license – You can buy a license through private license issuers or www.albertarelm.com Legal Consequences What if I am charged and choose to plead Not Guilty or refuse to pay the fine? Further Reading / Resources: • “Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan – Our Dream Is That Our Peoples Will One Day Be Clearly Recognized As Nations ”; Harold Cardinal & Walter Hildebrandt • “The Spirit of the Alberta Indian Treaties”; Edited By Richard T. Price • “The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7”; Walter Hildebrandt, Sarah Carter, and Dorothy First Rider • “Prison of Grass – Canada from a Native Point of View”; Howard Adams Additional Resources • Thanks to the Government of Alberta for the use of “Hunting by Treaty Indians in Alberta” brochure • Métis Nation of Alberta www.metis.org • Alberta Sustainable Resource Development www.srd.alberta.ca • Hunting licenses: 1-888-944-5494 • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: 1-800-567-9604 • Native Counselling Services of Alberta: 1-780-451-4002 • AALEC www.aalec.ca • Woodward & Company, Barristers & Solicitors (Jack Woodward, J. Berry Hykin) Possible Points of View • Alberta’s position – The Albertan government states its main focus is on resource sustainability. – The province has an obligation to honour treaty rights to status Albertans. With the Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement, the province believed there was an increase in Métis harvesters and pressure on the province’s resources. Possible Points of View • Registered Indian position – Some status Indians were concerned about sharing pools of resources with Métis harvesters. – Some status Indians were concerned with the lack of consultation regarding Métis harvesting rights and the effect on their own existing treaty rights. Possible Points of View • Métis position – The Métis point of view looks to section 35 of the Canadian Constitution which recognizes Métis people as one of three Aboriginal peoples of Canada. – Therefore, Métis feel they are guaranteed an Aboriginal right to hunt, fish and trap.