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Letter: Chief: Be sure of facts before making accusations

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Jul 15, 2014 - 8:51 AM |

Re: John M. Felix’s letter “Too many moose tags being issued,” which ran in the June 5 edition of Northern Life.

(John M. Felix’s letter) disturbed me in the sense that people make assumptions without knowing the facts of the issue.

There are many reasons why the moose population declines and also increases.
I have hunted on this land all my life, and to this day have always seen moose and deer in our territory.

People always make excuses when it comes to a problem or blame someone for the problem. Before we start making excuses and accusations, we should first know the facts and take all the information available to us to form an opinion on the issue.

It disturbs me when John M. Felix from Lake Panache (Atikameksheng Anishnawbek’s traditional territory) can make false statements, as he doesn’t know our First Nation or what is happening in the area, but decides to write a letter to Northern Life and place blame.

There may be some “Native people” that perhaps have never been taught their culture and have been absorbed into the greed and corruption of today’s mainstream society.

I work closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources within the Sudbury district. 

If they hear of illegal hunting in the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek’s traditional territory, they always call me as part of their investigation.

In all my life living on Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation (Whitefish Lake First Nation), I have never seen a whole moose left to rot in the dump.

If you assume that “a native or two got a little trigger happy and shot too much moose for his freezer” and then threw the moose that they didn’t want in our dump, it’s a false assumption.

Our community is small, with a population of 500 people. Of those 500 people, there may be a total of 20 regular hunters that hunt in the fall.

Word gets out to our community pretty quickly when someone shoots a moose. 

If the hunter has too much meat, it is then shared with our community. That is our law and our tradition.

Also, I am not too sure why you would be on Atikameksheng Anishnawbek’s lands and roaming around in our dump.

Atikameksheng Anishnawbek’s lands are private lands, and anyone who is not a member must have approval from the chief and council before entering onto it.

If no approval is given to an individual (non-band member), that individual is considered to be trespassing.

Our people have more respect for our wildlife than you know.

Before you start to blame First Nations people for problems with lands and resources, be sure of the facts on the issue.

Chief Steve Miller
Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation

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