FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Ottawa, Oct. 16, 2020)—Nature Canada supports the fundamental rights of the Algonquins of Lac Barriere, including Lac Barriere, Kitigan Zibi, Lac Simon and Kitcisakik to have a moratorium on moose hunting in the Réserve faunique La Vérendrye and the surrounding areas, which is unceded Algonquin territory. We have embarked on a new era of reconciliation between federal, provincial and Indigenous governments, which means that we must do things differently. Our governments must understand that this must translate into concrete actions and not just be nice words.
Concerning the management of resources on Algonquin traditional territory including populations of large animals such as moose, which play integral roles in ecosystem functioning, there needs to be a co-management system that ensures the resource is managed in a way that respects the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples, reflects traditional knowledge and the expertise of Indigenous resource management, and allows Algonquin families access to these resources with an equal voice in management decisions.
According to the results of a recent inventory carried out by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs in collaboration with representatives of the Algonquin Nation, the moose population has declined significantly since 2008. However, the reason for this decline remains unknown.
Since moose is a traditional and fundamental food source for families of the Algonquin communities in the region, Nature Canada urges Minister Dufour, and the Legault government to immediately impose a moratorium on moose hunting in the Réserve faunique La Vérendrye and seek a just and fair resolution on this matter that fully addressed the concerns of the Algonquin Nation. This would demonstrate respect for the government’s obligation to consult and to accommodate the position of the Algonquian Nation in relation to decisions that have a major impact on their lives and culture.
Nature Canada executive director Graham Saul and policy director Gauri Sreenivasan are available for further comment.
Graham Saul is Executive Director of Nature Canada. He has worked on social and environmental justice issues for more than 25 years in Canada and abroad and is the former head of Climate Action Network Canada and Ecology Ottawa.
Gauri Sreenivasan is Director of Policy and Campaigns at Nature Canada. Her work for sustainability and justice spans more than 25 years, with previous roles on Parliament Hill and at the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Nature Canada has been a voice for nature for more than 80 years. We are a charitable organization advocating the conservation of land and the protection of waterways, and oceans to help stop the loss of species. We facilitate mobilization among more than 900 nature organizations and 100,000 nature-lovers while helping Canadians connect to nature. Learn more at naturecanada.ca.