First Nations respond as the 2017 fall grizzly trophy hunt opens

Vancouver – First Nations along BC’s North and Central Coast are reiterating their position against the Province’s bear trophy hunt as the grizzly hunting season opens for fall 2017.

While the BC NDP announced in August that a new grizzly bear trophy hunting ban will take effect in November of this year, the fall 2017 bear hunting season remains unchanged. This means that both resident and non-resident hunters of BC are still able to hunt a grizzly bear for sport this fall, according to a predetermined quota.

Some BC resident hunters are turning in their hunting tags to show their respect for the Coastal First Nations (CFN) trophy hunting ban under Indigenous law. Before this hunting season opened, one such hunter surrendered their hunting tag to the Heiltsuk Nation.

“The Coastal First Nations and Bear Working Group applaud individual hunters such as this one who are taking a stand and following their moral compass,” says Jess Housty, Heiltsuk tribal councillor and CFN board member, who received the surrendered permit. “Thanks to this hunter who complied with Indigenous law, a life of a grizzly was spared.”

“This bear hunting season, the Coastal Guardian Watchmen will continue to monitor and implement the Coastal First Nations trophy hunting ban, which has been in place since 2012,” says Bear Working Group member Chief Douglas Neasloss, of the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nation. “Trophy hunting is closed in the Great Bear Rainforest.”

“Our Nations have made it clear,” adds Housty. “Even as the Province of BC works to bring their regulations into line, our original rights holders and title holders have long since banned trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest.”

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