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Reporting the Cape Breton Highlands moose cull controversy

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
"Parks Canada prejudice against whites." Oh no, we're not racist. Photo Twitter / APTN
"Parks Canada prejudice against whites." Oh no, we're not racist. Photo Twitter / APTN

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – A confrontation this morning between protesters and Mi'kmaw hunters caused a Parks Canada-sanctioned moose cull in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to be postponed.

Some protesters argue that the experimental cull of 30 to 40 moose constitutes a threat to the moose population and should be halted. Other protesters say that the hunt should proceed, but that non-Mi'kmaw hunters should be allowed to participate.

Both the Chronicle Herald and the CBC have written about the clash. Neither one did a very good job.

One thing that is missing from today's coverage is an explanation why Mi'kmaw hunters are there in the first place.

It has everything to do with treaty rights.

The Mi'kmaq continue to hold their unceded aboriginal rights and title throughout their traditional territory.

The Supreme Court ruling in the Marshall decision recognized that the Mi’kmaq possess a treaty right to hunt, fish, and gather for a moderate livelihood.

This is why in 2012 Parks Canada engaged the Unama'ki Instititute of Natural Resources to manage a Mi'qmaq-led harvest. It appears that they are doing so in a very responsible manner.

That treaty rights are fundamental to the current moose hunt is an important statement of fact. Leaving it out when reporting on this conflict is leaving out information that is really crucial to the story.

Especially when racism is such a big part of that story.

You have only to read the online comments to confirm that a racist chorus is cheering the protesters on.

if the American Natives are so wise in their ways, why do they have to depend on us other folk to keep them warm and fed.?? And don't say pooh pooh, because if the subsidies were cut off, disaster (CBC)

Protesters aren't so innocent either, it appears.

“Parks Canada. Prejudice against Whites”, stated one of the signs held by protesters this morning.

Not very inclusive, is it?

Maybe reporters should report that.


See a report by Tina Roache of APTN to get the full story on this morning's events.

See this Unama'ki Institute FAQ for more info on the hunt and its context

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter  @DevetRobert

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