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Indigenous Survival International (Canada)

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JANUARY 1992      v20 n07 p09  
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - Commercial fur trapping was introduced to Aboriginal people through the Fur Trade with European business interests generations ago. Because of its nature, it did not conflict with, and indeed may have enhanced other aspects of our traditional economy. Over time, fur trapping has become "traditional" and a vital part of our unique Canadian and Aboriginal culture and identity.

Dan Smith, Executive Director, ISI (Canada)
Dan Smith, Executive Director, ISI (Canada)

Child with furs

Indigenous Survival International (ISI), is an international alliance of Indigenous nations and organizations from Canada, Alaska and Greenland, formed in 1984 in response to the threat to trapping posed by outside interests. At that time, the animal rights movement was gaining momentum and hunters of furs in all these countries feared the powerful movement would undermine their way of life. ISI's purpose was to protect the furbearer harvester rights of Aboriginal people and to launch an effective lobby to educate the world about these matters. The mandate was sufficiently broad, however, to include the protection of Indigenous cultural integrity, the rights to harvest the resources of land and water and the protection of those resources so necessary for the cultural survival of the Indigenous peoples.

ISI (Canada) feels that our people who are reliant on and in intimate contact with the land and its resources are in the best position to protect the land and the environment from harm. Indeed, the survival of the land may depend upon the survival of our culture.

We have learned that we certainly cannot entrust the environment to others to safeguard. Specifically, so called environmentalists who have taken on animal rights as their cause, have already had detrimental effects on some animal populations. In addition, Aboriginal trappers view them as a real threat to the continuation of a unique culture, identity and the special relationship to the Crown.

ISI (Canada) is composed of a board representing four member organizations: the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Metis National Council (MNC), the Native Council of Canada (NCC) and the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC). Representing Assembly of First Nations Erasmus of Yellowknife, NWT National Chief of the Dene Nation, is presently chairperson of ISI (Canada). Smith, Past President of Native Council of Canada currently Executive Director working out of Ottawa.

ISI (Canada) urges Aboriginal people and Canal people in general throughout Canada to speak out in defence of the "Keepers of the Land" the Aboriginal traditional harvesters, as they struggle maintain their economics, sufficiency and special relationship to the Crown.

For more information plea contact:
Dan Smith
Executive Director
298 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON

Ph: (613) 230-3616
Fax: (613) 230-3595

Gary LaPlante
298 Elgin St.
Ottawa, ON

Ph:(306) 665-5527
Fax: (306) 664-8851