Locals Support Haudenosaunee Treaty Right to Hunt in Short Hills Provincial Park, St. Catharines, Ontario
Sat. Dec. 6 and Sun. Dec. 7, 2014, Haudenosaunee hunters will be exercising their treaty-guaranteed right to hunt on their traditional lands. In the face of protest by a few hunting, environmental, and animal rights groups, the Haudenosaunee hunters will be accompanied by locals who support this exercise of their treaty right to hunt, with a peaceful demonstration and dialogue.
Short Hills Provincial Park has hosted the hunt for the last few years as arranged by the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. However, anti-hunt protests and hunt-disruptions marred last year’s hunts.
International human rights observers with Christian Peacemaker Teams will also be present. After reports of sexist and racist verbal violence on the first four days of the 2014 deer hunt (Nov. 23, 23, 27, 28), these observers were invited to accompany treaty rights supporters as well as Haudenosaunee hunters in an effort to de-escalate further aggression and to support a dialogue between community members.
Canada’s constitution includes all treaties and agreements between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples before Confederation, which means that this hunting right (as established through the Nanfan Treaty / 1701 Albany Deed) is constitutionally protected. Everyone should be able to express their opinions on this matter in a respectful way that builds relationships instead of creating divisions and exacerbating tensions. Hopefully a peaceful show of support for the hunters will build dialogue and foster good relations between First Nations and non-Indigenous communities in the area.
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Call to Action
Are you coming to St. Catharines, Ontario this Sat Dec. 6 and Sun Dec. 7 to support First Nations Treaty Rights to harvest deer at Short Hills Provincial Park? We need you between 4:00am-6:30am to support Haudenosaunee hunters as they arrive at the park and again from 4:30pm-7:00pm as hunters depart the park. We are a small group of supporters and we need you at the park – please come with signs supporting First Nations Treaty Rights!
There are four settler groups against this Treaty Right: local non-Aboriginal hunters with their discourse “this is unfair, we should be allowed to hunt too”, some local community members who don’t want the hunt in their backyard, a few folks who claim “trucks in the park causes ecological damage” and a few animal rights activists. These settler groups (totally around 15-20 people) go to the park to hassle and harass First Nations hunters.
I have been at the park each morning and evening on November 22, 23, 27 and 28 and I have witnessed overt racism and verbal abuse directed at Haudenosaunee hunters and treaty right supporters. This racism is an assault on First Nations Treaty Rights that must be contested!
Folks supporting Haudenosaunee hunters and their legal treaty right to hunt (as established through the Nanfan Treaty / 1701 Alban Deed) will attend with signs saying “respect treaty rights, say no to colonialism” etc. Join us at Short Hills Provincial Park located in St. Catharines, Ontario (Pelham Road entrance) this Sat Dec. 6 and Sun Dec. 7 from 4am-6:30am and from 4:30pm – 7:00pm. Please help to raise awareness about this important social justice issue and please spread this call to action.
MA Social Justice Equity Studies
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