Doing the same thing over and expecting different results: this is what the Provincial Government continues to do when it comes to management of moose populations in the Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin) territory.
The steady decline in moose numbers coupled with the Province’s inability to incorporate First Nations recommendations into moose management has led to the Tsilhqot’in enacting our own law to say “this is not OK.”
It is not OK to continue to allow moose to be hunted with the cumulative effects of the 2017 wildfires unrealized and a rapidly declining moose population.
We cannot be blinded to the traditional knowledge of our elders that tells us of a healthy, thriving and abundant moose population just decades ago.
The social impact of not having moose in our freezers is beyond what most can comprehend. Without moose, our people are increasingly forced to purchase meat from grocery stores – a luxury that most cannot afford. Our quality of life stands to decrease as health indicators like diabetes increase and our children go to school hungry.
This Interim Emergency Moose Protection Law (Dechen Ts’ededilhtan) is a mechanism to protect our wildlife, families and more importantly, a way to protect our people from the Provincial Government telling us that they know best.
Our Nation has tried to work with the Province on this issue, along with maintaining a strict ban on hunting of cow moose by anyone. Years have passed and moose numbers continue to decline. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is not a luxury our people can afford.
Nits’il?in (Chief) Joe Alphonse,
Tribal Chairman, Tsilhqot’in National Government