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Hunting Rights Disrupted

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      DECEMBER 1972      v03 n12 p02  
On December 5, 1972 Bandleaders from Keeseekoose Cote, Cowessess, Kahkewistahow and Nut Lake formed an allegiance against the present government's policies in disrupting the Indian's hunting rights. Present at this meeting was Robert Albus, the Regional Superintendent for the Department of Natural Resources, Jerry Ives, the Conservation, Officer from Pelly and Leonard Larson, and the MLA for the Pelly district from the Saskatchewan Government. The native people expressed bitter disappointment on the part of the present government for enforcing laws and depriving the Indian's hunting privileges. One of their big food resources is suddenly cut off without warning.

Mr. Leonard Ketchemonia from Keeseekoose opened up the meeting by the present provincial, government's law enforcement of shutting down Area 21 to the Indian people. He claimed that the Indians were not informed of this law until they started being arrested within the last two months. There is a Fish and Game Unit in Yorkton, which is giving false information to the government that the Indians are abusing and wasting game. Hunting areas are starting to be shut down from the west. He greatly fears that pretty soon all hunting rights will be taken away from the Indian.

Mr. Louis Taypotat, a spokesman from the Kahkewistahow Band added that is seems the Americans have preference over the Indian people. The Americans come to Canada for Sportsmanship but whereas we use it solely for food for our families.

Mr. Felix Musqua from Keeseekoose also corrected the big lie that Indians are wasting wild meat. He stressed the fact that Indians do not waste meat. If an Indian has too much meat for himself he shares with his neighbors. This has been a custom among the Indians in the past and it is very much in evidence to this very day.

Mr. Alex Kennedy, an executive member of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians further stated that if we use the things on the earth as it is supposed to be used it will never be depleted. This is what the Indian people have believed in for thousands of years. He says these rights are bound by treaty. But the government is quietly changing the status of the game preserves restricting Indians. He says this is wrong for the government to do this.

Lou Lockhart, the Legal Advisor for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, stated that Game Preserves are not the same thing as a Game Management Zone. An Indian is being charged with hunting out of season in a Game Management Zone. The issue is going to the Supreme Court. An argument going to Court is that the decision of what is occupied Crown Land and what is not Crown Land. This should be settled by the Federal Government and the Indian people and not what the province states.

A resolution was drawn up to the effect that an Indian be allowed to hunt any time of the year for food. The natives felt that the white people depleted our game to what it is today. The Indian's philosophy is they do not waste game. Hunting laws were made by Whitemen and should only apply to Whitemen and not to Indian people.

The resolution was brought up to the attention of Mr. Larson who will in turn present this resolution to this present government. Even Mr. Larson admits that no Indian should be arrested who is hunting for food. He is also going to try his best to ban foreign sportsmen from raiding our wild game who are actually the ones to blame on our dwindling supply of wild game.