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Metis Interim Agreement


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I am just wondering if any of you have voiced your concerns over the metis agreement to your MLA or the Premier? AFGA is going hard and needs the support of as many outdoorsmen as possible. Please take the few minutes necessary to send an e-mail, make a phone call, or better yet, write a letter.

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I posted a copy of it on a couple of other sites and have written to anyone who was involved, even slightly. Probably not close enough to the next election to make a difference, but ya gotta try.

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How disgusting is that? I had no idea.

 

Unregulated hunting and fishing ... what the hell does the government think is going to happen and how does the government believe these resources are going to remain sustainable in an unregulated environment.

 

The provincial government of Alberta is notorious for turning it's back on the environment, so it really doesn't come as a surprise.

 

Has anyone drafted a form letter to send to MLAs and other elected members? I had a post on the Thompson River Steelhead last year that had a link to a form letter that could be mass mailed.

 

Robin

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I am heavily involved in the Traditional and Primitive Bowhunting scene and I know that AFGA, Ab. Bowhunters Assoc. and several other groups are well into a letter writing campaign as we speak. The MLA who is spearheading this issue has referred publicly (twice now) to AFGA members as "a bunch of a$$holes". I have already written several letters to Klein, Williams etc. It would be beneficial if more people took the time to simply write a letter and send it to your MLA and cc it to Ralph. There is a growing group of people who are ragged at this proposal and the letters are flowing. What is interesting is the new commercial nets that have now appeared on Pigeon lake and already there have been confirmed harvests of several Trophy rams and at least one woodland caribou. Yes, I know...a record book Big Horn Ram is necessary to subsist and feed your family!!!LOL What kills me is that most Metis that I know are absolutely no different than you or I. Living here in Edmonton etc. with good paying jobs and no need whatsoever to "subsist off the land" beyond what you or I do. In fact, the two metis that I am familiar with are trophy bowhunters!

 

The trout are safe I suppose, but there is nothing stopping someone from legally netting Muir as far as I am aware. Think about that one for a minute!

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One other thing that bothers me is what a "race issue" this has become. A further disruption of the trend towards acceptance of all people in our society.

 

I am of Scottish heritage and my family has been in Canada for hundreds of years. My "race" gave birth to the metis and my family's heritage has depended on subsistance hunting, fishing and trapping. Therefore, maybe I should get a group of Scottish people together to sue the government for the right to subsist on hunting and fishing and trapping! What a joke.

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I appreciate the candor and eloquence of your followup letter.

 

It is high time that those of us stand up and take notice of the things going on in this province.

 

I will sit down and write my letter today.

 

.

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Guys I have written several letters already (quite a while ago) and I was pretty much the only one to bring this up with the the new Minister at the Edm Trout Club meeting some time back. Please make sure you also include how upset you are the our provincial governemnt is spreading racism and dividing the people of this province as this seams to be to real sore spot.

 

Cheers :cheers:

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It wouldn't be that bad if the proposal was confined to the Metis that are living in the metis communities in "wilderness" areas of the province...as was the intention of the Ontario ruling. Instead, our Provincial MLA's (one in particular) have carried it even further to include all metis in all situations and walks of life, including those (the majority) that are as far removed from traditional ways of life as you can possibly be.

 

All of us have had to excercise restraint and practice catch-and-release in waters like Pigeon Lake over the past several years, not to mention paying the taxes to pay for the studies and enforcement of the new rules...only to watch metis gill nets floating under the ice! I also wonder how many 30" bull trout will end up in the freezer this year...or worse, the taxidermy shops?

 

Sorry to rant...but this is yet another example of the stupidity of few impacting the lives of many. I am getting tired of it.

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In this day and age it seems, that it is all too easy to try to quash any complaints against these types of things, by crying racism. I have to believe it is some kind of racism to discriminate against the other Canadian citizens who are not metis, or whatever.

It is a typical ploy of government, to create dissention between the ranks when one of their pet policies is threatened, then on the other hand, to preach unity of Province and /or country......with the people that they tried to alienate. It is not, I believe the Metis that we are upset with as much as it is the Government, for its' own anti Canadian policies. I do not hate, despise or dislike First Nations, Metis or any other group of people. If they told me I could fish year 'round, I might well take them up on it. I despise the willingness of the government to betray the majority of Canadians, to satisfy the minority. To take the cowards way out and promote dissention, rather than work towards unity on these and other issues.

I also fail to see how "aboriginal rights" can be restored when harvest methods are so much more efficient and are no longer "traditional" in the true sens of the word.

My $.02 worth, for all the good it will do. I have written to the appropriate parties, but even if we speak our minds at election time, I do not believe that things will change any time soon. :(

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I think we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what the real issue is. I don't think the issue is race, I believe the issue is unfettered access to resources. No one is talking about the fish and wildlife; that's where we need to divert our attention. We need to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. Where is the grassroots movement? How come this isn't plastered all over the news?

 

Who cares what race you are; if you've lived your entire life in the bush and require the land for subsistance, I don't have a problem with harvesting in a sustainable manner; however, I vehemently disagree with unrestricted access to resources in an already pressured and fragile ecosystem. This is not the 1880s: science and conservation theory have proven, time and time again, that without restraining ourselves (humans in general) we just keep consuming; face it, we're an opportunistic race, how do you think we've survived all these years?. History teaches brutal lessons, my friends. I, for one, don't need another painful reminder of how the Alberta government doesn't give two sh!ts about the environment.

 

Whomever you are and whatever race you represent, I believe you should be required by law to carry a permit for resource extraction, no exceptions.

 

I'm curious, what has TU said 'officially' about this proposal? What is the main driver for this proposal? Who benefits? Where is the win-win? To me, it looks like the government wins (optics and image) and the metis win (unrestricted resource allocation) the big loser in all of this is the environment and it's myriad ecosystems.

 

Why don't we invite a government representative from SRD and Fisheries to the club one day to explain this proposal in plain english.

 

Just another reason why I dislike people and why I want to leave this province.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a little confused/concerned about people saying the agreement gives Metis 'unrestricted access' to angling waters. Section 5 of the agreement says that fishing rights are, "Subject to any closures or restrictions for conservation or safety purposes."

 

It also says in section 7 that the "Interim Agreement does not negate requirements to obtain applicable licenses under Alberta legislation or regulations governing domestic fishing (specifically, the use of nets), commercial trapping and commercial fishing."

 

Section 5 pretty much says that Metis can fish at pothole trout lakes as long as they follow the closures or restrictions for conservation purposes. So for a lake like Muir that means 1 trout over 50cm, just like anyone else. Section 7 also allows for restrictions in the sense that Metis have to get applicable licenses.

 

The government seems to hold a lot of leverage to restrict and control Metis subsistence fishing. The issue is how well it will be enforced. That is not a Metis issue that is a government of Alberta issue and I think energies would be better spent getting Ralph and Co. to actually fund enforcement of our angling regulations - something that has been lacking for a long time.

 

I think a more serious issue is the recent ruling regarding subsistence fishing on ancestral lands. http://www.nawash.ca/docs/2005_03_29_NPost.pdf The ruling basically states that treaty Indians are not restricted by closures for conservation or safety purposes on their ancestral lands. That means any lake that the government cannot set conservation regulations for subsistence fishing at any lake that is included in reserve lands. I would agree with the judge's ruling on the fine point of law that there is a prior agreement in place (in this case Treaty 6) which basically guaranteed subsistence fishing in perpetuity and the conservation regulations came at a much later time. However, without some type of conservation scheme that is followed by all parties, there will be no fish to harvest.

 

Regards,

 

Tim

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tim....with the ambiguity of the agreement, it is unrestricted access to "Harvest Lands". I have read the agreement in its entirety several times it allows many more rights that are not clear on the when, why and how. Paragrapsh 5..."a member may hunt, trap or engage in (net fishing) at all seasons of the year...on lands known as "Harvesting Lands"". There are already closures and restrictions on all wildlife resources with regards to conservation and safety! That is why we have seasons so the first sentence of that paragraph is irrelevant!!!!! You should also know that Harvest Lands mean all crown and government lands. For example...as far as my interpretation goes, there is no reason why someone couldn't set up gill nets on Muir...I am assuming it is provincial or crown land?? Unless I am way off base....not sure.

 

I have also attached another response letter from an acquaintance for your interest.

Don_L_Reddekopp_response__2_.doc

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