Metis Hunting Charges a Definite Possibility

Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 14:42



An official with Saskatchewan Environment says no Metis person in the province has been charged with a hunting violation since last year’s Powley decision, but that could change.


Earlier this week, Metis Nation – Saskatchewan president Dwayne Roth urged Metis hunters to assert their rights and hunt without a licence.


Saskatchewan Environment’s Aboriginal Affairs director, Jack Kinnear, says Roth’s statement won’t change how conservation officers approach the issue in the field.


Kinnear says the situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but says any hunter that can’t prove a link to an historic Metis community is in jeopardy of getting charged.


Kinnear says that sort of charge is most likely to be laid in the south, where there is still a lot of uncertainty about what constitutes an historic Metis community.


In the North, hunting charges are expected to become even more rare since the province is putting less emphasis on a subsistence lifestyle.


Six people claiming Metis harvesting rights have been charged in Saskatchewan since the Powley decision, but Kinnear says those cases all deal with fishing violations.