Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief – Food Security for Indigenous People Vital

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Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak walking in the Full Moon Memory Walk
Chief Derek Nepinak

Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak walking in the Full Moon Memory Walk
Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak

WINNIPEG – Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak states, “In the age of reconciliation, there is an onus on provincial governments to unpack years upon years of denigrating policies used to subjugate and marginalize Indigenous peoples. This means that the laws and regulations that they use to manage non-Indigenous sport and trophy hunting has to be narrowly construed so as to not impede on Indigenous hunting practices that we have observed for thousands of years in our careful management of our ancestral lands.”

“At the same moment that announcements on ‪#‎reconciliation‬ were being made in Ottawa, armed government employees were granted a questionable search warrant to enter into private homes on reserve and try and bully and harass members from my community,” adds the Grand Chief. “Anyone that knows the valuable medicines in our ancestral food sources knows that we need to supplement our diets with the natural foods from our lands in order to survive and return to wellness”.

Two homes on the Pine Creek First Nation were raided on December 15th 2015, ironically the Grand Chief points out on the same day that the Truth and Reconciliation Report was released.

Chief  Charlie Boucher leader of the Pine Creek First Nation stated that “Conservation officers raided two homes on the reserve last month, and confiscated moose meat harvested from Pine Creek’s traditional territory, which straddles the Manitoba-Saskatchewan provincial boundary”.

Denial of Access to Healthy Food from the Land

“Being actively denied access to the land by people who do not know the limits of their rights, impedes our ability to find wellness in an age of diabetes. I will not stand for that and neither should anyone else!”

“This is an issue of food security for indigenous peoples, everyone should get on board including First Nations leadership from our partnering treaty territories. We speak reconciliation all we want but as long as our people are being harassed in our ancestral lands and activities, the words are meaningless,” continued the Manitoba Grand Chief. “The Supreme Court precedent has longstanding law that recognizes the mobility rights of treaty hunting. Anyone who thinks that the provincial boundary creates a limit on the treaty right to hunt needs to be educated on the truth of the state of Canadian law”.

“This does not mean that responsible harvesting takes a back seat. It has to be at all times, a discussion that focuses on the preservation of the herd. Keeping in mind that for sport hunting alone, Saskatchewan gave out nearly 6,000 moose hunting tags for game/sport/commercial moose hunting. Meanwhile, they make accusations of our poor people selling moose meat How much money is being made on the commercial sport trophy hunt in Saskatchewan? This is a discussion that needs to be had now,” comments the Grand Chief