I will touch on the state of the caribou heard again this morning.
It is very troubling to me and what appears to be many others that very little conversation (that is in public domain) seems to be taking place. Matter of fact if the herd is in as bad a shape as claimed why has there not been pro active action been introduced already.
Highlighted after the meeting in Kuujjuaq recently is the anecdotal evidence of how the small heard was harvested this weekend.
The delegation of Innu from Natuashish flew back home on a charter (as did other groups). But the Innu did a reconnaissance fly over of know caribou migration routes. A small group of 50 to 60 animals were spotted.
The day after arriving home a group of Innu left for the area and harvested 46 animals.
Which begs many serious questions that need public answers. Firstly was the Innu harvest a community effort or a bunch of individuals. Not that it should make that much difference, but if communal then it would touch on a traditional hunt, unlike the mode used in spotting them in the first place.
I would point out that much of what I am saying is taken from others who are as concerned, or more so than I.
The province is silent along with scientists and groups like Torngats Wildlife Secretariat. There has been word from these people in the past but now is the time for more dialogue as the main hunting season approaches.
Will the province wait until hundreds of caribou are hunted and then do their yearly press release of empty rhetoric.
Some ideas of what could be done:
Nunatsiavut Government could implement something under their much ballyhooed EPA.
Perhaps NG could introduce a moratorium, they could use their Conservation Officers, with back up, to enforce the moratorium. No one will be thrown in the caboose, but animals could be seized, the names of the perps made public, and the animals distributed to the elderly and the many poor people in the communities.
This would only cover NG lands, but it could embarrass other groups to take the initiative and make the move.
At the moment the NG assembly has decided to still rely on their recommendation not to hunt. This wont wash as many people are of the mind of * well if those other guys are going to hunt, then we will too*
If the caribou are in in such peril maybe they can be put on the species at risk list. This would encompass everybody, leaving aside the traditional hunt argument, which sounds empty these days with some groups using spotter planes and even flying in ski doos to the hunting areas.
The next passage is a cut and past from a local Facebook page, I hope they dont mind.
Is it just me or does it seem like no one
gives a rats ass about the state of the caribou population? God you see
people with caribou, talking about how good their meal was or that they
are going soon! Do they know that the herd is at a steep decline in
numbers and that all the aboriginal groups, here and Quebec, are trying
to save them? For a while there, I didn't even care either, but after
careful thought, maybe I should care. I
don't want to wake up someday and reminisce about the days when we
"used" to go caribou hunting. What, do they think they will rebound back
with today's technology? Or are they trying to all get some before
they're gone? God I hope the goverment does something like a moratorium
so that the wildlife people's could start enforcing it and hopefully
save one of our most precious natural resources.
Poignant words indeed and should be taken very seriously by the leaders of all stripes and cultures.
While we are on the subject, the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce held a big shin dig in St.Johns this week to promote Central Labrador as a place to do business.
LNCC Twittered that their end end of shin dig gala featured caribou and arctic char with the accompanied picture.
A Goose Bay based reporter asked the question *where's the caribou from?* Good question, one that warrants an answer, but we wont hang by the short and curlies.