Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. [English translation not provided.]
Today I want to talk about hunting buffalo. For years the Dene elders have hunted buffalo for subsistence purposes. However, today they are telling elders that you can’t hunt unless you have a tag. At the same time, some non-native persons, southerners, are allowed to hunt bison — hunt for sport — because they’ve got tags.
Elders are confused by this. Traditional harvesting of bison by our Dene people has been going on for years. These elders are expert hunters who have traditional knowledge for hunting bison. Mr. Speaker, with caribou numbers down across the Northwest Territories, elders are once again looking to the traditional practice of hunting bison for food.
In the South Slave region this practice is allowed. If a bison wanders outside the Wood Buffalo National Park, elders can harvest them without repercussion. However, if an elder wishes to harvest bison in the North Slave outside the wood bison sanctuary, they are told they cannot do it.
Traditional harvesting of bison is already going on and has been going on outside the Wood Buffalo National Park for years. This should be allowed outside the wood bison sanctuary. Mr. Speaker, let me make it very clear. I’m not talking about harvesting bison by just anybody. I’m talking about traditional harvesting by Dene elders
have been raised on buffalo meat, elders who are expert hunters and can tell what kind of animal they are looking for and know how to shoot them. When these elders kill and skin their buffalo, there is nothing left; every part of the bison is used.
Giving a tag to an elder who has hunted bison all his life and telling him he must watch a two hour video on bison, telling him to study a piece of paper about bison horns so he doesn’t shoot a cow, assigning him a guide who is supposed to be an expert and giving him a lab kit for samples for the killed bison is totally disrespectful to the elders.
Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.
Unanimous consent granted.