Increased presence in the highlands

56Hunters can expect to see an increased presence of Mi’kmaq Natural Resource Officers (NRO’s) and officials from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the Cape Breton Highlands this Fall.

This is an effort for the Mi’kmaq to take increased control of the Mi’kmaq moose hunt. “Members of the Mi’kmaq community at large have continually expressed the need for increased patrols in the Cape Breton Highlands to deal with matters of hunter safety,” Moose Management Initiative Coordinator Clifford Paul noted. “This is just a part of a gradual change–a Mi’kmaq-led enhancement–so that the Mi’kmaq can have greater control over the responsibilities that come with our treaty right to hunt.”

Additionally, this month the Province of Nova Scotia announced a policy to limit the amount of moose meat a non-native person can have in his/her possession. The policy states that any non-native individual is limited to the possession of up to 100 pounds of moose meat per household per year. To obtain this permit, the Mi’kmaq hunter may have to accompany the non-native recipient in the application process. This policy does not include those non-native hunters that have received permits to hunt in the Nova Scotia DNR Moose Lottery. In recent years, DNR issued meat permits to non-native hunters that had no limits on meat possession. This has led to a situation of non-native individuals abusing and infringing on the Mi’kmaq right to hunt.

The Moose Management Initiative falls under the “Made in Nova Scotia Process” involving the Mi’kmaq people and the Province of Nova Scotia. The initiative involves a strong partnership between the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources and the Kwilmu’k Maw-klusuaqn, Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative. It is guided by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.

Members of the Millbrook RCMP Detachment will be in the highlands with a number of community youth taking part in their annual youth moose hunt.  As part of the process, the youth receive instruction in hunter safety, ethics, and the practice of Mi’kmaq resourcefulness to hunt for the benefit of the Mi’kmaq community. Hunters, please keep a safe look-out for our youth who will begin their camp on October 12–15. Members of the Indianbrook RCMP will be hosting their youth hunting camp in early or mid-October.

Best of luck and safe hunting to all.

From UINR Marten – Vol.2. Issue.3 – Autumn 2006