Grand Chief Derek Nepinak with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said indigenous hunters have been ticketed with non-compliance orders and harassed by farmers who feel the men have been trespassing for decades. He said the two Pine Creek reserve homes were raided on Dec. 15 — the same day the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report. "This has to stop," he said. "This is an age of reconciliation." While diabetes rates are soaring among First Nations, Nepinak said his people are being denied access to traditional, healthy food. At the same time, he said Saskatchewan hands out thousands of moose tags to sport hunters every year.
"I beg for us to be understood."
Manitoba Grand Chief Chief Derek Nepinak speaks with the media on Jan. 18, 2013, in Ottawa. (CP)"The Saskatchewan government is actively encouraging people to take down 6,000 moose for sport hunting every year but meanwhile, they are out there harassing our hunters that come from the treaty territories." A spokesperson from Saskatchewan's Environment Ministry wasn't immediately available for comment. Kevin Hart, Manitoba regional chief with the Assembly of First Nations, said he's disgusted by the "silent war" on the rights of his people. Hart said, as long as he can remember, he has hunted and gathered in various territories including Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
At times, Hart said he was accompanied by Manitoba's deputy premier, Eric Robinson. "We've exercised our rights to hunt on the land," Hart said. "It's very disturbing in this day and age that our inherent and treaty rights are being infringed upon."
"We've exercised our rights to hunt on the land."
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