September 29, 2020
MMF Announces Limited Re-Opening of Moose Harvesting in Porcupine Mountain and Duck Mountain as well as Full Re-Opening of GHA 26 starting Oct. 1, 2020
Winnipeg, MB – Using a conservation-minded approach, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) will re-open the Game Hunting Areas (GHAs) 13, 13A – Porcupine Mountain and GHAs 18, 18A, 18B, 18C – Duck Mountain for the harvest of bull moose (no cows, calves, or yearlings) on a limited basis through the Moose Conservation Harvesting Initiative, commencing October 1, 2020. GHA 26 – Nopiming – was closed to Métis Harvesters as a precautionary measure by the MMF. The MMF will be fully re-opening GHA 26 to the harvesting of moose for MMF Métis Harvesters.
At this time, the MMF has decided that GHAs 12, 14, 14A, 19A, 21, 21A, 29, and 29A will remain closed until the MMF can conduct its own surveying of the big game population when the seasons change. The MMF has committed to making these results public and sharing them with the province directly.
In correspondence with the MMF from a 2018 letter and at town halls, the Manitoba government had stated their surveys indicated that the moose populations in Porcupine Mountain and Duck Mountain areas were stable and 2% of the population, or 60 animals, could be harvested.
Since the closures there have been no MMF records of collectivity-based section 35 consultation or accommodation of the Manitoba Métis Community by the Manitoba Government despite a 2019 letter from the MMF requesting consultation.
“The Métis Government and the Metis Laws of the Harvest place a priority on conservation-minded harvesting. The MMF is seeking a cooperative approach with the province of Manitoba in these conservation efforts. In consultation with our Elders, we agreed that, beginning in 2011, we would mutually close the areas for protection. We are now into the 9th year of closures and it is time for the harvest to continue in a monitored responsible collective manner,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “Indigenous Peoples’ rights to harvest for culture and food have constitutional priority over recreation hunters.
“We are going to be engaging with First Nations leadership to come to an agreement on how First Nations and Métis Nation Harvesters will move forward on moose harvesting and sharing in a fair and equitable manner and will further engage with other stakeholders,” President Chartrand continued. “This is being done with conservation as a top priority and, as our Elders always tell us, with rights come responsibilities.”
The MMF announced that it will be permitting party hunting in Porcupine Mountain and Duck Mountain. Parties must consist of a minimum of four Harvesters. Harvesters will need to apply for a unique Conservation Moose Tag, which will be issued to the Captain of the Hunt of the Party. The Captain of the Hunt must then return the Conservation Moose Tag and, as is regular practice, to report on their harvest.
“The Métis have always honoured our traditional laws and our responsibilities to our plants, fish and wildlife, our community today and our future generations,” explained MMF Minister of Natural Resources Leah LaPlante. “For nearly a decade, the province of Manitoba has been announcing moose closures and talking about a moose management plan, but never meaningfully engaged and consulted the Métis Government on the closures and plans.”
Following tradition, it is expected that these party hunts will provide bounty to be shared with our Elders and vulnerable Citizens not only in the re-opening of the Moose Conservation Harvesting Initiative areas but also while regularly harvesting within all GHAs.
“This is especially important to help provide further support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President Chartrand. “In order to protect our families, we want to make sure that Métis Harvesters are able to support their loved ones and meet the needs of our Métis Elders and vulnerable Citizens during this unprecedented time.”
For more information on the Moose Conservation Harvesting Initiative, please visit the MMF website at www.mmf.mb.ca
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The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the democratic self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis Community is Canada’s Partner in Confederation and the Founder of the Province of Manitoba.