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Manitoba’s Game Hunting Areas in Treaty 2 Territory and Crown Land Concerns

Manitoba’s Game Hunting Areas in Treaty 2 Territory and Crown Land Concerns

Treaty 2 Territory – The best way to maintain your rights are to use them. When practicing your inherent right to harvest please remember that with inherent rights come inherent responsibilities. There are obvious inherent responsibilities such as not over harvesting, treating animals with the respect they deserve as our 4 legged brothers and sisters,

Treaty 2 Territory – The best way to maintain your rights are to use them. When practicing your inherent right to harvest please remember that with inherent rights come inherent responsibilities. There are obvious inherent responsibilities such as not over harvesting, treating animals with the respect they deserve as our 4 legged brothers and sisters, leaving a clean campsite etc.

When in the field it pays to be aware of your surroundings – and not just in terms of planning your hunt by reviewing maps and getting advice from Elders and other hunters. The Province of Manitoba has Game Hunting Areas (GHA’s) that overlap with our Territorial Boundary. The purpose of these GHA’s is to allow for focused management areas – so that Provincial staff have the opportunity to impose limitations on harvest – an example would be limiting an area to “Buck’s Only” in the hopes to stabilize a fragile population – or to impose a shotgun only zone close to urban communities.

The Manitoba Hunting Guide (available where licenses are sold) provides some good information and should be of interest to any hunter. The Guide can also be accessed here :https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/pubs/fish_wildlife/huntingguide.pdf The information in the guide gives some insight as to what Manitoba knows about game populations and what they are attempting to do to manage them. Some may argue that the guide is of little use to hunters who have inherent rights that allow them to hunt without a license – but the fact is that the Province wide information in that guide is the best Manitoba has and coupled with our own local knowledge provides useful information that will help us to practice our inherent right to harvest and our inherent responsibility to care for and protect our natural world.

Those who study the Hunting Guide will notice that on page 14 the following paragraph can be found:

“Hunting on Public Land – Manitoba hunters are fortunate to have hunting opportunities available on millions of hectares of wildlife management areas (WMAs), provincial forests, some provincial parks, and other undesignated Crown lands. Maps, including land ownership maps, are available that provide valuable information to hunters. For more information or to purchase maps, please contact Canada Map Sales toll free at 1-877-627-7226, or visit their website at www.canadamapsales.com.”

Care and Protection of the Natural World Staff have been working on a project attempting to map the location of Crown Lands available to our membership so that we can be sure we are on Crown Land. Unfortunately the available map data consists of “Land Ownership Maps” that are not suitable as they are simply drawings that are not referenced for use in mapping software. An additional concern is that although this is data related to “Public Lands” Canada Map Sales charges a considerable fee to ship you a paper map – a paper map that may or may not accurately reflect “Land Ownership” because these maps are seldom updated. By using them Hunters could easily end up in violation of Provincial Regulation. There is also the potential for unneeded conflict with people that have purchased the land from the Crown.

Manitoba’s Department of Agriculture is currently “Modernizing” their Crown Lands Program: https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/land-management/crown-land/ However Care and Protection of the Natural World Staff have not been consulted in this process – so we are left wondering where we stand! Are our hunters are even able to adhere to Provincial Regulation?

With a dwindling land base on which to practice our inherent rights and no accurate information that allows us the confidence to practice our rights what are we to do? Is this situation a situation that evolved over time with small Provincial “Conservation” budgets and negligent care of public data? Was this situation designed to sow confusion and encourage conflict in the field between land owners and harvesters? How much Crown Land is really left in this Province? Is there enough Crown Land left for the Crown to fulfill it’s Treaty Obligations?

The Province has a obligation to contend with this issue and do so quickly. This situation should be concerning to all the People of Manitoba – but especially to our Local Communities. While planning your hunt take a minute to ask questions about this situation and demand that the Province: 1. Observes their Duty to Consult on such issues. 2. Is undertaking work to eliminate this issue. 3. Eliminates the sale, transfer or lease of Crown Lands until our concerns are addressed and their Treaty Obligations are fulfilled.

Contact Information:

Blaine Pederson: Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development: minagr@leg.gov.mb.ca Please take a moment to send an e-mail with the following subject line: “Crown Land Concerns of the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory”. Once the Minister receives enough correspondence with the same subject line he should be obligated to respond.

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