The findings of a two-day conference–Mawikwamk Wjit Tia’muk–Mi’kmaq Gathering on Moose have been released. Delegates representing Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq communities met and discussed developing guidelines for the native moose hunt in the Cape Breton Highlands.

Dan Christmas, a conference facilitator explains, “The Mi’kmaq have treaty and aboriginal rights to hunt and we have taken an important step in determining how, as a Mi’kmaq government, we wish to exercise these rights to harvest in a manner respectful of the moose, other hunters and the environment.”

Clifford Paul, Moose Management Coordinator with UINR continues, “As a result of two years of community education and discussion around the moose hunt, we found there was consensus on many issues and  several topics needing more discussion. The Mi’kmaq Chief and Councils, as well as the Grand Council sent delegates to the Gathering to address these issues in order to reach consensus and instruct technical staff on the drafting of the guidelines. We anticipate that the guidelines, once completed and approved, will be implemented for the 2009 hunting season. We expect the guidelines will be initially adopted on a voluntary basis.”

Dan Christmas concludes, “This is the first attempt by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs at creating a community-based, grassroots oriented mechanism to address treaty rights implementation and future governance. By being involved in the creation of these processes, community members will become integral players in their future.”

From UINR Marten – Vol.4. Issue.4 – Winter 2008