NITASSINAN, QC, Dec. 22, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Innu Nation fully supports the repeated demands of the Cree, Inuit and Naskapi on the immediate ban of sport hunting in James Bay as a result of new data confirming the very significant decline of the Leaf River caribou herd.
Leaders of the Innu Nation were extremely concerned when they heard the position taken by the Government of Quebec yesterday to postpone by a year the end 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, holds a high-level meeting with Innu leaders to discuss the state of the caribou herd and the means to ensure its sustainability.
As a reminder, in September 2013, within the framework of the Ungava Peninsula Caribou Aboriginal Roundtable (UPCART) in Nain, Innu Nation Chiefs and Experts agreed on several commitments and measures for the protection of Atiku (the caribou), both for the George River and Leaf River herds.
One of the commitments included the following statement: "The Innu Nation from Quebec is available and offers its full collaboration to the Cree, Inuit and Naskapi in order to support them in their actions to ban sport hunting in the James Bay region."
Chiefs of the Innu Nation are fully aware of the importance of putting an immediate end to sport hunting. It should be noted that the shortcomings from the provincial authorities in the management of the herd and the delays in taking a decision on a ban of sport hunting a few years ago for the Georges River caribou herd had significant impacts on Atiku (caribou) and on the Innu.
Finally, Innu Chiefs invite the Cree, Naskapi and Inuit leaders to continue the dialogue on the sustainability of the caribou herds through the work of the UPCART.
One of the main issues raised by all UPCART partners is the leadership role to be taken by Aboriginal authorities in exercising and implementing their duty to respect and protect Atiku and mainly to ensure the relationship between Atiku 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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