Bear hunt will be last one: CHN president

  • May. 9, 2008 6:00 p.m.

The trophy bear hunt on the islands underway this summer will be the last one, Guujaaw, president of the Council of the Haida Nation said Friday. He told the Observer that it’s “an embarrassment” the hunt is continuing, since there was a commitment from the province in 2005 to end it. “All the way through, we expected the province to come through and fulfill at least a part of their commitment there,” Guujaaw said. He also says he has “people looking at finding funds” to buy the hunting licences, adding that similar things have happened on the coast with the white bears. “But it seems to be easier to get people’s attention on the white bear than on our poor little black ones,” he said. He said the CHN just doesn’t have the money to buy the licences, which he says owner Kevin Olmstead values at $1-million apiece. “We just don’t have the money. Certainly there is money there, but everybody has their own shopping list,” he said, “there are a lot of things to do, court cases and everything.” On this being the last hunt, Guujaaw said “this is not our blockade, it is just citizens going out to do it.” But he added “there won’t be a fall hunt because our people wouldn’t allow it.” “..I don’t think people would tolerate another season. So basically, this will be the last one,” Guujaaw said. He did not elaborate on what that will mean in practice. It could either be buying the licences (the province, the CHN or both) or engaging in protest action to force the end of the hunt. Licence owner Kevin Olmstead has been trying to sell the licences and the Tlell River House to the CHN since 2004. Last week, he told the Observer the ball was in the CHN’s court. This week, Guujaaw told us “basically, it is his to call”.

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