01/14/2016 12:00 EST | Updated 01/14/2017 05:12 EST

Derek Nepinak, Manitoba Grand Chief, Requests Meeting With Brad Wall On Hunting Rights

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba grand chief is calling for a meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall after accusing the province of harassing indigenous hunters.

Derek Nepinak with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs has written a letter to Wall outlining concerns over hunters who the chief says have been ticketed and threatened by Saskatchewan officials.

The chief of the Pine Creek First Nation has said that officers raided two homes last month and confiscated moose meat harvested from their traditional territory, which crosses the Manitoba-Saskatchewan boundary.

Saskatchewan officials have said they recognize the rights of indigenous hunters and would only step in if hunters were on private land without permission. 

derek nepinak Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak speaks with the media on Jan. 18, 2013 in Ottawa. (CP)

Nepinak says the law is clear — indigenous hunters have the right to feed their families by traditional means.

He says Wall should meet with aboriginal leaders with the aim of  reconciliation.

"To this end, I will always be personally open to meet with you," Nepinak wrote in the letter Thursday.

Saskatchewan hands out 6,000 moose tags to sport hunters every year, but allows officials to "bully" and "harass" indigenous people who are trying to feed their families, he said.

"I will always be personally open to meet with you."

"There is a correlation between a growing limitation of access to our traditional food sources and the explosion of diabetes to epidemic levels in our families," Nepinak wrote. "As such, the ability of a hunter to bring home natural foods to their families is critical to the health of the family.

"I would like to extend to you the opportunity to meet with Indigenous leadership to begin a discussion about deconstructing the colonial legal and regulatory regimes of the past and begin moving in the direction of truth and reconciliation."

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