Williams Lake, BC: Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Southern Dãkelh Nation Alliance (SDNA) are joining together to ban all Limited Entry Hunts (LEH) for moose within their respective territories in the interior of British Columbia. This collaboration comes in response to the dire state of declining moose populations in our territories and the lack of effective action by the Province of BC.
Despite the unprecedented 2017 wildfires, which have made struggling moose populations in the region even more vulnerable to hunters and predation, the BC Government continues to issue Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) permits for moose in our territories, contravening recommendations on wildlife management and without the consent of our Nations. As a result of the wildfires, thousands of access routes for hunters and predators have been created while high value habitat for moose has been drastically reduced.
The situation is so dire that many Tŝilhqot’in and Dãkelh citizens are deciding not to exercise their Aboriginal rights to hunt moose and going without this main source of food for the winter.
Building off a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and SDNA, both Nations agree that this is about protecting our resources and Indigenous ways of life, not about boundaries.
As a necessary step for moose stewardship, the SDNA has decided to extend its moratorium on LEH moose hunt for the 2018 season.
At an Emergency Leadership Summit held on July 10, 2018, the Tŝilhqot’in leadership passed a motion by consensus to enact an interim moose protection law as an emergency measure. The Tŝilhqot’in law prohibits LEH hunting within the Tŝilhqot’in Territory. The Tŝilhqot’in law also confirms a ban on hunting cow moose by Tŝilhqot’in citizens or any other person.
The Tŝilhqot’in and SDNA will continue to work together and welcome other First Nations to join these efforts in the months to come. The Nations also ask all hunters to respect this ban on LEH hunting, allowing the moose populations the opportunity to thrive as they did decades ago.