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Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Booklet 3 -Kitsumkalum Wildlife

Today, a licence is not required for aboriginal people to hunt or trap in BC. This ability to hunt or trap without a licence comes from clause 11 of the BC Wildlife Act and the provincial policy written on page 7 of the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synoposis, which exempts Status Indians from requiring a hunting licence. The Indian Act makes no mention of hunting grounds. Even though we are not required to carry a licence, we still have to hunt in season and follow other rules in the Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis like any other hunter in BC. Enforcement by fish and wildlife officers is often inconsistent because our right to hunt is defined.

 


Page 7 of the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis 2016-2018 says:

"The Ministry also recognizes that First Nation may have established aboriginal rights to harvest wildlife for sustenance (food, social, and ceremonial) in their traditional areas, and that treaty First Nations have treaty rights in relations to harvesting wildlife."

(The synopsis is available at local and hunting or fishing stores.)


 

Hunting after Treaty is Finalized in the Harvest Area

In the Final Agreement, we as Kitsumkalum members will have a defined right to hunt and trap 12 months a year for our own use in the Harvest Area. Our right to hunt will be limited by the need for conservation and the need for public health and safety. 



The Wildlife Chapter in the Kitsumkalum Draft Final Agreement says:

"Kitsumkalum has the right to harvest Wildlife for Domestic Purposes within the Harvest Area throughout the year in accordance with this Agreement"


 

The BC Minisiter of fish and wildlife will still have the authority to impose restrictions on hunting to conserve a species. The Treaty will define our right to be consulted on all restrictions, including our role in developing and putting them into effect. Restriction may limit hunting of some species, and will apply equally to all hunters in the Harvest Area. However, the Minister will be required to minimize the effect of the conservation measure on our right to hunt and trap. BC and Canada will still have the auhtority to impose restriction on hunting for health and safety reasons. Restrictions for health reasons may be required if a species has a disease that may be transferred to humans. Restrictions for safety reasons may be required to control firearm use near populated areas or highways.

Hunting after Treaty is Finalized in British Columbia

We will continue to be able to hunt without a licence outside of our Harvest Area just as we do now. This is because we will always be recognized as Status Indians under clause 11 of the BC Wildlife Act and the laws related to hunting in BC will still apply. We will be able to hunt in other Treaty First Nations Harvest Areas if our government negotiates and agreement with them.

Trapping and Guide-Outfitting

Trap lines and guide outfitter licences will continue after the Treaty is finalized. If a trap line or guide outfitter area on Settlement Lands becomes vacant, BC will not be able to grant the licence to anyone without the consent of our government. We are negotiatiing a procedure for our governement to own trap lines that come available for sale by private owners.

Wildlife Convservation

Our goverment may also choose to create zones and land management plans on Settlement Lands that could enhance or protect wildlife and their habitat. Fore example, the Zymacord Valley has important habitat for wildlife.

If Kitsumkalum is aware of a conservation problem in our Harvest Area, our government may propose consevation measures that mus be considered by BC.

Kitsumkalum Laws

Our government will have the authority to make laws to manage our members hunting in the Harvest Area, such as a Kitsumkalum Wildlife Act. Through this law our government will consider wildlife conservation while making sure all members have equal oppurtunities to hunt.

A Kitsumkalum Wildlife Act:

  • Might establish a Kitsumkalum wildlife department to manage hunting by Kitsumkalum members in the Harvest Area.
  • Might establish control of trade and barter of wildlife by members
  • Will be required to establish a documentation system for harvesting and transporting wildlife, including the requirment for members to carry this documentation when harvesting or transporting
  • Will require members to comply with conservation measures put in place by BC

Roles and Responsibilities of Government Officials
Under the Indian Act, band councils make decisions based on internal policy or on a case by case basis. Policies can be changed or ignored, and decisions can be inconsistent with past or future councils.
After Treaty is finalized, a First nation administration makes decisions based on laws made by the First Nations legislature. This ensure consistency in administration and governance. Laws can be changed, but only through a public process that ill be defined in the First Nations Consitution.

We will have a staff that will administer the Kitsumkalum Wildlife Act. To do this effectively, our government will need to develop policiies based on the Act to guide administration staff. These policies would outline ways to handle requests and issue documentation to our members exercising their right to hunt in the Harvest Area.

Our administration staff will need to have a person responsible for requests and issuing documentation as well as for monitoring compliance and monitoring enforement of the laws (such as a wildlife gaurdian). In addition, the adminstration may recommend management plans to our government for wildlife harvest by Kitsumkalum, or may play a role in initiating, reviewing or implementing conservation measures in Harvest Area.