Metis push on hunting - Conservation minister to uphold existing laws
Friday, October 22 2004
A bloody uprising could be in the cards if the Doer government does not recognize the right of Metis people to hunt without a licence, says the president of the Manitoba Metis Federation. "There may be a day when the resistance of the 1800s comes back to this province, where we will give our lives to defend our people," David Chartrand told a news conference yesterday.
Chartrand was reacting after learning provincial conservation officers had seized a duck and shotgun from a Metis hunter in the Turtle Mountain area earlier this week.
Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said he plans to follow through on a Supreme Court ruling last year that found certain Metis communities have a right to hunt and fish locally -- but details are still being worked out.
In the meantime, Struthers advised Metis hunters to get the appropriate licences.
"I have a job as conservation minister to uphold the laws that are there," Struthers said.
Brandon resident Will Goodon went hunting on his family's land Tuesday night and bagged the bird.
DUCK AND GUN SEIZED
The next day he went to speak with provincial conservation officers in Boissevain about whether they intend to honour the MMF's "harvester" cards, which were issued earlier this year. That's when his duck and shotgun were seized.
Both Chartrand and Goodon said yesterday they were under the impression both Premier Gary Doer and Struthers had said they would honour Metis hunting rights.
"I, as leader, have been tricked by government," Chartrand said. "I have been deceived."
Goodon is the first Metis in Manitoba to be charged with a conservation offence since the MMF introduced its harvester cards in September.
Winnipeg Sun, October 22, 2004
By FRANK LANDRY, LEGISLATURE REPORTER
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