MCLEOD LAKE, B.C. – The McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) has sent a letter to Premier John Horgan requesting that the planned Cow-Calf Moose hunt for this fall be halted.

According to a release from the MLIB, government staff are looking to conduct a ‘trial’ to determine if reducing the number of mother moose and their calves will help to reduce the number of wolves, in hopes to aid in caribou recovery.

The government had originally wanted to allow the hunting of up to 100 cow and calf moose in the fall, however, the MLIB was able to get that number reduced down to 60.

The MLIB is now looking to the Premier to halt the hunt entirely and allow the parties to develop a more sustainable, longer-term solution to help aid in the recovery of the caribou.

“This experiment not only does not make sense, but it does also not align with our traditional knowledge, cultural practices, or our traditional laws. This 2021 and it is time that government staff understands that they cannot unilaterally impose wildlife management experiments on us in our unceded ancestral lands,” says MLIB Deputy Chief Jayde Chingee.

“This ‘trial’ involves killing mother moose and their calves to reduce the number of wolves and aid in caribou recovery. Where is the science behind this scenario? Other indigenous nations in BC supported by hunters and guide-outfitters have known for years that if you want to support healthy populations of moose, caribou, and other ungulates you reduce the number of wolves, not the number of mother moose and their calves.”

Chingee also went on to mention how this is the era of reconciliation and having a better understanding of the truth about rights and title ownership by Indigenous nations.

“Here we are with another ‘government knows best’ decision that was made without our consent. Those days are done, and we have asked the Premier to halt this experiment and instead, allow everyone to meet and determine a more sustainable, longer-term solution to aid caribou recovery in our territory.”

Last year, West Moberly First Nations, Saulteau First Nations, B.C. and Ottawa signed a partnership agreement to recover the endangered central group of southern mountain caribou.

The partnership agreement is centred around the Klinse-za (Twin Sisters) mountains and the Klinse-za caribou herd.