Conservation and Trapping News

Annual NSTA convention begins in La Ronge
Apr 22, 2023 06:46 ET

[Reprinted from original]

La Ronge will play host this week to the annual convention of the Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association (NSTA). According to a release from the Prince Albert Grand Council and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, trappers from the Northern Fur Conservation Area will be in town to “show their support for protecting traditional trapping practices in northern Saskatchewan”.

“Our traditional way of life relies on trapping and it serves as a vital economic driver for our communities,” said PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte. “We appreciate the Métis Nation’s leadership on taking on this new role as the lead of NSTA. As we face challenges from the mining industry, they are well-positioned to continue this important work, and we will continue our advocacy work alongside them to protect our traditional trapping practices and ensure its continued viability.”

The association used to be managed by the Prince Albert Grand Council, but is now managed by the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. They advocate for the rights of trappers in the region.

“We are hearing concern from trappers as changes to provincial trespassing legislation are limiting their access to the land and traditional territory,” said FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear. “FSIN is concerned about the sale of Crown lands, and turning land from public access to private land is hindering First Nations across the province as they attempt to exercise their Inherent and Treaty rights to hunt, fish, trap, and gather medicines and traditional sustenance.”

PAGC’s member nations, including Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Cumberland House Cree Nation, Shoal Lake Cree Nation, and Red Earth Cree Nation, provide support for the NSTA, alongside the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan.

“We also acknowledge that there is a lack of provincial government consultation with First Nations when issuing exploration and mining permits to companies looking to take valuable resources from First Nations’ land,” Bear said. “Our access to the land, and the natural resources beneath the topsoil are enshrined in Treaties signed by our ancestors. We will continue to carry this message forward to governments.”