NWT Drops Charges Against Dene Trappers
Wednesday, August 04, 2004 at 13:00
The Northwest Territories has agreed to drop hundreds of wildlife charges against six northern Saskatchewan trappers.
It’s part of a deal between the territorial government and two Athabasca Denesuline First Nations.
The agreement commits the two sides to work together towards a common understanding on trapping practices involving caribou and wolves in the Northwest Territories.
Six trappers from Fond du Lac and Black Lake were facing a variety of charges, including using caribou meat fit for human consumption to bait wolves harvested for their fur.
Lawyer Bruce Slusar says the trappers are relieved their ordeal is now over.
The bands and the Northwest Territories will hold discussions on conservation initiatives which affect the traditional territories of Far North Dene communities, whose members often hunt and trap north of 60.
Slusar is hopeful the Saskatchewan government can be persuaded to re-examine its definition of trapping violations, as well.
Yesterday’s announcement came less than a week before the trappers’ trial was set to begin.