Metis Hunting Deal Harmless, Official Says

Article excerpt

Won't abuse their privileges

THE recognition of Metis hunting rights in Manitoba won't prompt a stampede of gun-toting enthusiasts heading out into the wild, says the head of the province's hunting and fishing tourism industry.

Paul Turenne, executive director of the Manitoba Lodges & Outfitters Association, said the just-signed deal between the province and the Manitoba Metis Federation to give Metis people the same hunting rights as First Nations should benefit the hunting tourism industry.

The agreement means Metis people can hunt and fish without a provincial licence but only in certain parts of the province.

"The fact (Metis people) don't have to buy a provincial licence isn't going to remove some huge barrier that had stopped them from hunting and fishing before," Turenne said.

"They share the same herds of deer and lakes of fish. Having this agreement should help build the relationships for better joint management."

The fact the MMF has also agreed that its hunters will abide by conservation agreements and safety rules -- such as not hunting at night -- is another positive development, he said.

John Lavallee, the Metis owner of Crooked Creek Lodge near St. Ambroise, agreed with Turenne. He also said the recognition of Metis hunting rights wouldn't result in overhunting or overfishing in the province. …