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Shooting Ducks Gets Fine For Whitehawk Of Cote

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      OCTOBER 1974      v05 n08 p27  
Cote - Maynard Whitehawk was found guilty recently by the magistrate at Kamsack, Sask., for illegally hunting ducks on Cote Reserve.

Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables made the arrest on Maynard Whitehawk right within Cote Reserve on May 20, 1974. Six Mallard ducks were confiscated from the trunk of Whitehawk's car to be used as evidence in court.

Entering a plea of not guilty, Whitehawk appeared in magistrate Mclean's court on June 28, 1974, with lawyer Chetty of Melville acting on his behalf. Three of the witnesses who were called up who were with Maynard Whitehawk were Arthur Shingoose, Norman Shingoose, and Warren Whitehawk to testily on Whitehawk's case.

After three hours of deliberation on the Crown's argument and the defense council side, Whitehawk was found guilty. The magistrate levied a fine of $25.00 or 15 days in a provincial jail.

Coming out of the courthouse, Whitehawk still felt he was not guilty of this charge. He quoted, "I thought we could hunt on the reserve without no outside interference. Having a reserve set aside for Indian people to hunt whenever there was game available has finally come to absolutely no meaning for Treaty Indians. The breaking of treaty rights is becoming too common and getting out of hand."

Lawyer Chetty is studying the case further in hopes of making an appeal in this case. Felix Musqua, the Community Development Worker at Cote and Keeseekoose, who is helping in Whitehawk's case quoted, "Law is funny. While working as a surveyor a few years back for the Department of Highways just south of Saskatoon, farmers in that area were killing off ducks as pests for destroying their crops. Hundreds of ducks were left on the sloughs to rot." He further stated, "Even to this very day just west of here in Wynyard, farmers are crying to have ducks exterminated as pests. They are destroying crops by the bushels. And here they are arresting a man who is trying to provide food on the table for his wife and four children. What makes it worse is it's happening now right in the reserve. It's a bloody shame.

Chief Tony Cote, who is one of the concerned people, advised Maynard Whitehawk to appeal. Chief Cote quotes, "The Migratory Birds Act has been introduced years after the treaties have been signed. This act is in direct conflict with hunting rights of the Indian people. The Indian people were not consulted when this new law came in. It puts us in a situation where the Indian will suffer through an unkept treaty. We are going to have to fight this case to the end or else we are giving the go-ahead to the white law makers to keep on breaking more treaties. We must stand firmly and live up to what's been promised to us in exchange for the vast resources in this country."