Tahltan Central Government (TCG) said a gate was recently removed by hunters north of Bob Quinn where a travel advisory remains in effect. A camera which would have captured the gate’s removal, TCG said was stolen. (Image submitted)

Tahltan Nation eager to see 2020 hunting season draw to a close

TCG president says they have witnessed racism and vandalism by hunters this year

The president of the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) is looking forward to the conclusion of B.C’s hunting season following outbursts of racism amid a travel advisory and increasing fears a potentially deadly virus could be transported to one of their remote communities by hunters who have ripped out fences, stolen cameras and removed concrete barriers.

“It has been disheartening,” Chad Norman Day said of the behavior witnessed recently, not only on the ground but also online.

“I feel that it’s deeply disrespectful to be seeing not only so many resident hunters coming into Tahltan territory when they are aware that we have the travel ban in place but there’s been multiple examples now where they have cost us thousands of dollars in damage by bending and breaking, and removing the gates that we’ve put up in place to deter them from entering certain access points near the communities.”

BC RCMP could not be reached for immediate comment.

Read More: Bears and wolves to be hunted by Tahltan in B.C’s northwest

As the Tahltan braced for an influx of big game hunters coming into their isolated territory in northwestern B.C., TCG ramped up efforts to keep them out amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Just days prior to the official start of the 2020 hunting season Tahltan wildlife guaridans installed gates and concrete barriers north of Bob Quinn along Highway 37 in hunting regions 6-19 and 6-26.

In an e-mail, the BCWF did not address the alleged behavior of hunters but said BCWF supports First Nation rights to restrict access to First Nation communities and reserves.

“The BCWF recognizes the risks associated with COVID-19 and all reasonable attempts, supported by the Provincial Health Officer and Health Authorities, to keep everyone in British Columbia safe and acknowledges the value in allowing British Columbians to recreate safely in their province,” wrote Jesse Zeman, BCWF director fish and wildlife restoration.

For Day the need for the access checkpoints has been further validated by positive COVID-19 cases identified recently in Witset (Moricetown) and Nak’azdli near Fort St. James.

“My heart goes out to all of the communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous particularly in the north who are dealing with COVID-19,” he said.

“This is why the Tahltan Nation did this.”

Read More: First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

Non-resident hunting this year has not only been restricted by Tahltan Nation.

The Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) in Atlin set up an information checkstop on Highway 7 in late August.

“TRTFN will assert its authority to take measures as necessary to protect the land and its people,” said heritage co-ordinator Ben Louter.

“Non-essential travel for hunting purposes to TRTFN traditional territory put this community at risk and jeopardizes food security.”

A spokesperson with B.C’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said travelling to hunt is considered recreational, and therefore is non-essential.

Read More: VIDEO: Cariboo-Chilcotin rally aims to stop antlerless moose hunt


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First Nationshunting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

(Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory Facebook screenshot)
Ceremony a right at proposed CGL pipeline drill site: BC Union of Indian Chiefs

Indigenous land defenders cannot be criminalized and targeted, argues UBCIC

(File graphic)
Man dies in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) after being taken into police custody

IIO and BC Corners Service conducting independent investigations

Dan Stuart (Christian Heritage Party - BC photo)
Strong values underpin Christian Heritage Party candidate

He’s also suspicious of the COVID-19 pandemic

Advance polling begins on Oct. 15, 2020, across B.C. in the 2020 snap election. (Black Press files)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Advance voting in Houston begins today

Advance voting runs from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21 in B.C.’s election

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Most Read