To the editor;
When I saw Chief Nathan Matthew’s photo under the Oct. 19, 2017, Star/Journal headline “Simpcw hunt in Jasper National Park” my first thought was “fake news”.
To my amazement and dismay, he not only stated that the Simpcw had a right to it, but he also took part in the hunt and stated there had
been talks with Jasper Park officials for at least two years about it.
I ask, why do First Nations claim it was a “sustenance hunt”?
He did not use the term, though apparently stated the meat from the hunt was shared by the community. Why are truly absurd excuses used to give this respectability?
It is obvious for those who have been involved in similar actions taken by the Simpcw that the killing of wild animals in a National Park could at best be called ‘symbolic’.
It was a shameful act to kill the animals who for a hundred years have been shown not to fear humans, to trust
them, and that no harm would come from them.
I have gained a huge respect for the First Nations relationship with nature, and especially all wildlife. They celebrated the spiritual connection with ceremonies held in honour of the wildlife, even though they had hunted the animals since early history because it was necessary for their livelihood. In spite of that, as I have informed myself, they respected nature and all her inhabitants.
With this hunt in Jasper National Park, that ancient wisdom has been denounced. The hunters took advantage of the animals trust in
humans and that was a shameful deed.
Why do I defend those ‘game animals’?
I do that because they are honest and totally non-manipulative, and this can no longer be said of humans, who will use any means to
gain power over who they perceive are their adversaries.
I am asking you, Chief Matthew, what are First Nations planning to gain by their actions? Those Park areas will not return to being hunting grounds for First Nations, and neither would they want to return to their traditional way of life in 2017.
So what would the gained lands be used for?
Canada’s National Parks are held up as amazing examples of safeguarding nature, not only for Canadians, but also for international visitors. They are living monuments for our country and must remain so for all times.