Cree councillor, wildlife biologist object to Alberta wolf and coyote culls 

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Cree councillor, wildlife biologist object to Alberta wolf and coyote culls 

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Benjamin Badger believes the “four-legged nation”, which includes the wolf and coyote family “clans”, have shared the land with Indigenous People for time immemorial and should not be hunted and killed.

A councillor from Kehewin Cree Nation in northern Alberta says he objects to a coyote and wolf reduction incentive program advertised by the local county, as an attack on the “four legged nation.”

There are 16 municipalities with predator bounty programs in Alberta. St. Paul county introduced its program six years ago in order to reduce the population of coyotes and wolves over the calving season.

The bounty offers a payout of $15 per coyote and $75 per wolf to a maximum number of 20 coyotes/wolves per week, and a total season maximum of 100 coyotes/wolves per resident/landowner.

Kehewin Cree Nation councillor Benjamin Badger said the “four-legged nation,” which includes the wolf and coyote family clans, have shared the land with Indigenous people forever and should not be hunted and killed.

“The farming and agriculture has just devastated the land that they use to sustain themselves,” said Badger.

“Metaphorically, you take what’s happening to the wolves and apply it to what Indian people had to face … there’s so much correlation.”

‘It’s not right’

He referenced the Canadian government’s policy to “get rid of the the Indian problem” in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which was unsuccessful, but still produced harmful results such as intergenerational trauma stemming from Indian residential schools.

“The wolves are starting to reclaim the land that was already theirs,” said Badger.

“The wolves are encroaching on municipal jurisdictions but those are fictional borders, you can’t see them. The animals don’t see that.”

Saddle Lake Cree Nation elder and hunter Joe Cardinal said he’s noticed the St. Paul area filling with more predatory animals in recent years.

He said he doesn’t agree with the large culling of wolves and coyotes, but added that county wildlife officials should make sure the reduction program is carried out in the least harmful way.

“I respect all animals,” said Cardinal.

“I don’t take nothing [from the land] unless it has to be taken for food purposes. I wouldn’t shoot a coyote unless it was attacking. It’s not right.”

Non-targeted species affected

Wildlife biologist Gilbert Proulx has studied predation bounty programs in the Prairies since they were reintroduced in Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2007 and 2009 after 40 years.

He said the reduction tactics are inhumane and ineffective.

“The scientific community, environmental organizations and public must vigorously condemn the use of such programs,” said Proulx.

According to Proulx, killing methods used by bounty hunters include shooting animals in non-vital regions of their bodies, neck snares and strychnine poisoning, which causes suffering and delayed deaths. It also causes unnecessary deaths to many non-targeted species.

“There is no proof to demonstrate that wolves or coyotes prey on livestock,” he said.

“I find it frustrating that a small interest group can dictate the future of our wildlife communities.”

‘A political decision’

He said he’s spoken with ranchers from the area who have told him they don’t have a problem with coyotes or wolves.

He called the bounty “a political decision” aimed at appeasing farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock, but said they already receive compensation from the government for their losses.

Killing off predators won’t solve concerns ranchers may have regarding predators stalking their livestock, he said.

“Wolves are dominant animals,” he said.

“If you kill a dominant animal and destroy the social structure, the ones that survive, suddenly they’re the new bosses. They split and each make their own pack, and then there’s coyotes and wolves from other regions that come in.”

Proulx co-authored a study that reported that from 2010 to 2015, 25,940 coyotes and 1,425 wolves were killed in Alberta through bounty programs.

County rules

Keith Kornelsen, agricultural fieldman for St. Paul county, said the county has averaged a yearly payout of $18,000 in its bounty program. It budgets $25,000 per year for the program.

Kornelsen said the county enforces strict rules on trappers to ensure the killing methods are humane. He said the county has heard some concerns from residents about the reduction program, and is open to hearing them.

The bounty program in St. Paul runs from Nov. 1 to March 31.

Source: Cree councillor, wildlife biologist object to Alberta wolf and coyote culls – CBC News | Indigenous

By | 2017-12-02T07:17:13+00:00 December 2nd, 2017|Oppose Welfare Ranching, Protect Alberta Wolves, Protect The Wolves|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. mm December 2, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Apropos her in Protect the Wolves, is the further recognition that cash bounties are incentives that also split the indigenous communities. The governance structure of Canada differs from teh USA, inn that Provinces have far less oversight by the federal govt.
    In the Candaian Constitution, we find a passages that elevate indigenous (First Nations) to a high level of control over their native territories, but this has unfortunately been shown in recent times to be more “lip service” than actual. Canada is largely an extraction economy, and the international fur trade has influenced First Nations people as well.

    The Euro-Canadians (I actually wish to include others, but since almost all Provincial policies seem to perpetuate these colonial (and colonial is tantamount to profit-by-extraction) cultural imperatives) bulldoze the First nations except in Nunavut – which has other cultural problems, and only the long efforts of wildlife preservation groups has had any effect in some Provinces in slow change from wolf persecution.
    These latter ARE effective, because the cultural philosophies of First Nations at their best create unified publicity for conservation.
    Alberta is perhaps the most overtly extractive Province, and so is poisoned most deeply by both the oldest extractive industry – that of fur trade, and the newest- fossil fuel poisoning..
    The increasing human world population and taste for huge meat trade, drives the 3 North American economies to increase livestock industry. This issue appears to be slipping by the public media, but it is the source of the money arrayed against wolf, coyote, forest and all that exists.

    I note that such large world merciful organizations as HSI, PeTA, and others are still marginalized and called by invective and dissociative epithets. This is popular in Canada.
    To identify the problem further, I’ll use an accurate epithet understood best by females: toxic masculinity is the cultural problem, and again, ALL cultures need internal work toward mutual respect at a level far greater than is common at present.

    The wolf teaches greater respect than is at all common among humans, and some close inspection of the way of the wolf is in order for humans. Our original cultures were based upon reverential respect for differences in other individuals. Once I questioned what we could do about the warring and ill feeling that goes on among our kind; two elder teachers immediately answered together that we must first ourselves become what we wished to experience from others.

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