NITASSINAN, QC, Dec. 22, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Innu Nation fully supports the repeated and sustained demands of the Cree, Inuit and Naskapi on the immediate closure of sport hunting in James Bay as a result of new data confirming the very significant decline in the Leaf River caribou herd.
Leaders of the Innu Nation were extremely concerned when they find out about of the position taken by the Government of Quebec yesterday to postpone, for a one-year period, the closing of sport hunting for the Leaf River caribou herd. In light of this decision, they request that the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Mr. Luc Blanchette, hold a high-level meeting with the Innu leaders to discuss the herd's situation and the means to ensure the sustainability of this resource.
The Chiefs of the Innu Nation are fully aware of the importance of this request to immediately close the sport hunt. It should be noted that the management shortcomings by the Quebec and Labrador administration concerning the rapid closure of sport hunting a few years ago for the Georges River herd had significant and drastic consequences for Atik (caribou) and the Innu.
Let us note that in September 2013, during a meeting of the Ungava Peninsula Caribou Aboriginal Roundtable Table (UPCART) in Nain, the Innu Nation chiefs and experts had developed a series of commitments and measures for the protection of Atik, both for the George River and Leaf River herds.
One of these included the following statement: "The Innu Nation in Quebec is available and offers its full collaboration to the Crees, Inuit and Naskapis in order to support them in their actions to ban sport hunting in the James Bay region."
Finally, the Innu Chiefs invite the Cree, Naskapi and Inuit leaders to continue the dialogue on resource sustainability through the work of the UPCART.
One of the main issues raised by all UPCART partners is the leadership role of each of the Aboriginal authority to exercise and implement their responsibility to respect Atik and mainly to ensure a spiritual relationship between Atik and the various indigenous groups; the ultimate objective being to ensure the survival of the species.
UPCART partners include all Aboriginal people in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula affected by the Leaf River and George River caribou herds.
SOURCE Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (ITUM)
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