Two Manitoba First Nations men recently appeared in Yorkton provincial court and pleaded guilty to unlawful hunting charges in Saskatchewan from an incident last year.

Pine Creek First Nation residents Charlie Boucher, age 55, and Georgie Lamirande, age 40, were each fined a total of $7,500 for unlawfully hunting on posted land, unlawful possession of wildlife and illegally transporting wildlife to another province.

In December 2015, Ministry of Environment conservation officers in Duck Mountain Provincial Park investigated a call about three moose shot on posted land near the town of Canora.  The landowner observed three moose being loaded into two trucks on his land, which was posted as off-limits to hunters.  The landowner provided the officers with a Manitoba licence plate from one of the vehicles.

In Saskatchewan, individuals exercising Treaty rights to hunt for food require prior permission to hunt on private land.

The investigation by Saskatchewan conservation officers, with the help of a Manitoba conservation officer and the RCMP, led to a search of two residences on Pine Creek First Nation in Manitoba.

DNA samples collected at the kill site and through the searches were sent away to be tested. The results of tests indicated that the samples were a positive match.  As well, spent shell casings collected at the scene were determined to be fired from the firearms located at each residence.

The arrests and controversy around inherent treaty hunting rights sparked a call by the FSIN and Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to call for a meeting with Premier Brad Wall last January, as reported in Treaty 4 News. Read that story here.

The Ministry of Environment produced a Saskatchewan Guide for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights for Hunting and Fishing in 2015.  The guide is a concise source for information on Treaty and Aboriginal hunting and fishing rights in Saskatchewan and is available online at the Ministry of Environment. View it here.

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