Métis Harvest Agreement Information
WHO IS HUNTING FOR TOMORROW
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Metis Harvest Agreement Information
MÉTIS NATION OF ALBERTA
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INTERIM MÉTIS HARVEST AGREEMENT
INTERIM MÉTIS HARVEST AGREEMENT
February 9, 2007
The executive of the
Calgary Alberta Chapter of the Safari Club
This is #1 FOR HUNTERS !!!!!!
Edmonton... The Alberta government has accepted the report of a committee examining Métis hunting and fishing rights. The government will resume negotiations on a new agreement with the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Métis Settlements General Council as a result of the report's recommendations.
The report of the MLA Committee on Métis Harvesting recognizes the right of Métis people to harvest fish and wildlife for food, and recommends new criteria for determining who qualifies and where they can hunt. The report also recommends new processes to ensure conservation of Alberta's fish and wildlife.
"Alberta has always been a leader in recognizing Métis culture and society, and we want to negotiate a new agreement together - one that balances the rights of the Métis people with wildlife conservation," said Ron Stevens, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "This report provides us with the guidelines to do that."
The MLA Committee on Métis Harvesting was established in June 2005 in response to concerns by some members of the public with the current interim agreements between government and the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Métis Settlements General Council. The interim agreements were negotiated as the result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2003, which recognized a Métis right to hunt for food.
The MLA Committee's recommendations were presented to the ministries of Justice, Sustainable Resource Development and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
"Alberta's approach has always been to negotiate agreements and to avoid litigation with Aboriginal people whenever possible. The government is not taking unilateral action on Métis harvesting and will be entering into negotiations," said Pearl Calahasen, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
"As always, we will ensure that our monitoring and enforcement systems are consistent with the agreements," said David Coutts, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development.
The committee consisted of Denis Ducharme (Chair, and MLA, Bonnyville-Cold Lake), Frank Oberle (MLA, Peace River) and Neil Brown (MLA, Calgary-Nose Hill). The Committee consulted with First Nations and Métis organizations, conservation groups, outdoor organizations, as well as numerous interested individuals.
Recommendation One - Recognition of Right
The Committee recommends membership in the Métis Nation of Alberta no longer be recognized in and of itself as being sufficient to exercise Métis harvesting rights.
Recommendation Two - Determination of Harvesting Entitlement
The Committee recommends that harvester cards be granted to Métis individuals who qualify for and wish to exercise harvesting rights. Harvester cards would allow for government review and/or audit and would be site-specific.
Recommendation Three - Subsistence
Harvesting must be for food. The Committee recommends wildlife parts, including trophy heads, antlers, horns and non-food parts be surrendered to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. Métis persons desiring to harvest for trophy purposes should apply for tags, as would non-aboriginals.
Recommendation Four - Conservation
The Committee recommends Métis harvesters should be licensed (at no cost) and a method to record harvest levels should be implemented. Possibilities include issuing tags, or including Métis harvesters in surveys similar to those used for non-aboriginal hunters, and/or mandatory reporting for some or all species. Consideration must be given to protecting species that are susceptible to over-harvest or are sought after for a trophy or non-food reason.
Recommendation Five - Safety Measures
The Committee recommends that the age requirements and hunter training requirements which apply to non-aboriginal hunters be applied to all Métis harvesters. All safety requirements must continue to be applied to Métis harvesters.
Recommendation Six -Trapping
The Committee recommends that Métis trapping for food should not require a license. Trapping for food would be site specific, and where trapping occurred on Fur Management Areas, any furs obtained coincidental to trapping for food would be surrendered to the Registered Fur Management Area rights holder.
By Andrew Hanon
The Metis Nation of Alberta has had to hire extra staff to handle the flood of applications for membership so people can hunt out of season.
"We're getting swamped," acknowledged MNA vice-president Trevor Gladue. "It's because of the agreement."
The flurry of applications began last October after the Alberta government signed the Interim Metis Harvesting Agreement, giving the province's Metis the same hunting rights as other aboriginal people.
Metis hunters are allowed to hunt year-round without a licence, but must be able to prove that they're truly Metis.
Since October, Gladue said, 1,847 people have applied for Metis cards. However, so far only 543 have been granted.
He would not say the remaining 1,100 were bogus. Rather, he said, they're "incomplete or in the process."
"Our membership requirements are very stringent," he said. "It's absolutely critical. And if all the required information isn't provided, we send it back and tell them we need more."
All applicants must show lineage back to the original Metis people, who were the children of fur traders and First Nations people.
The Metis Nation of Alberta has 31,000 members, but Gladue said census data shows 64,000 people claiming Metis ancestry.
The agreement sent ripples of dread through hunting and conservation organizations, who fear a flood of unlicensed hunters will threaten some species of game.
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE
Calgary Liberal MLA Harry Chase wants to read out loud in the Legislature this week all the letters on the Interim Métis Harvest agreement that have been sent into MLA's. If you have kept copies of the letters please forward them by email to Harry Chase firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for caring about our resources!
FISHERMAN AND HUNTERS
Do you want to protect your rights as tax paying Albertans, for you, your children and your grandchildren?
The Alberta Gov’t has an interim agreement to transfer these rights to Metis
This will mean lost opportunities to hunt and fish in this province for the average tax paying Albertan.
If you think fishing opportunities have decreased over the past couple years this agreement has the potential to eliminate fishing opportunities in Alberta.
This agreement discriminates against ordinary Albertans by removing the equality of opportunity for all Albertans.
This decision was made by 4 cabinet ministers that have a vested interest in this issue. This is not democracy the average Albertan had no voice in this decision.
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Pearl Calahasen has stated publicly that this agreement goes beyond the requirements of the Supreme Court (Powley Decision) because she wants Alberta to lead in establishing superior rights for Metis across Canada.
Further information on
the interim agreement can be found on
THE AFGA QUESTIONS PROPOSED METIS
SHOW YOUR CONCERN ONLINE
As many of you are aware, the Alberta government has entered into interim agreements with the two Métis organizations in Alberta, allowing members of these groups—or people who are eligible to be members—to hunt, fish or trap on all crown and private land to which they have access, without a licence and at all seasons of the year. This was done in response to a Supreme Court ruling in 2003 (Powley case). However, it is the considered opinion of many that these agreements go way beyond the intent of the Supreme Court ruling and previous rulings (e.g., Sparrow case, 1990).
A lot of people are very concerned about these agreements and their implications for our fish and wildlife. They have organized and put together a website to address the issue and get people involved in contacting the respective politicians. Please go to Sportsmen of Alberta website http://www.sportsmenofalberta.com/, read it; and if you agree, act on it, and promote it as far and wide as possible.
MONITORING MÉTIS HARVEST IMPACT
You may be aware of the Interim Métis Harvesting Agreement that was signed in Alberta, which allows Alberta Métis the ability to hunt without a hunting license and outside of any government specified season. Considerable discussion amongst both the hunting and non-hunting community has surfaced, with many people questioning what kind of impact this will have on the resource. The following information may be of interest to you.
COMMUNITY CONSULTATIONS ON THE INTERIM
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