Yukon’s Ross River Dena Council wants hunting limited in its territory – North

For the second year in a row, the Ross River Dena Council is calling for action on over-hunting in its traditional territories, with some people again talking about a blockade of the North Canol Road.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our members call it the killing fields,” said Coun. Derrick Redies.

He said it’s “quite frustrating” for members whose hunt have been unsuccessful when they see outsiders with big hauls.

“A number of them, when they are on their journey back home see these great big trucks loaded up with their quads and freezers and you know they have a bunch of racks on there,” Redies said.

Coun. Derrick Redies, centre standing, with Chief Jack Caesar, left, and councillors Verna Nukon and Jenny Caesar on the right. (Nancy Thomson/CBC)

There are too many hunters from the Northwest Territories, as well as resident hunters from around the Yukon, he said. Kaska hunters tell him they can run into four or five hunting groups in any given day.

Ross River resident James Dick wants that curtailed. He said one option could be for local people to blockade the North Canol Road. It runs from Ross River up to the Northwest Territories border.

“I think that’s one way to slow it down, you know, to keep the people out,” said Dick.

“I think we need to have some kind of control before this happens up the North Canol.”

The North Canol Road, built during the Second World War, has become a popular hunting destination. (CBC)

‘It’s our livelihood’

Redies said there should be a limit on the number of permit hunts and a moratorium on the corridor for a limited time.

He said the Yukon government has a harvest limit on moose hunting around nearby Faro and could consider something similar in the Ross River area.

“It’s an infringement to our title to our land,” he said of the hunting activity.

“It’s our livelihood, it’s our way of life. Our people have made a way of life of the caribou and moose, it evolves around our whole way of life,” said…

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