Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Northern Aboriginals Say Caribou Hunting Must Change

In remote northern aboriginal communities in Canada, hunting caribou is much like grocery shopping. Caribou, which many northern aboriginal families eat several times a week, remains a healthy and affordable meal. But now, caribou numbers are plummeting throughout the Canadian North. Five of seven herds are in decline as a sixth is suspected of shrinking and no information exists on the seventh. The largest herd, the Bathurst herd north of Great Slave Lake, has dropped from nearly 500,000 animals to 186,000 which is a decline of more than 60%. A recent summit on the crisis recommends that people whose livelihood and culture depend on the animal should limit how many caribou they kill.

"We have to be disciplined about the way we harvest," said Richard Nerysoo, chief of the northern aboriginal Inuvik Dene band. "We have to realize that has to change."

Caribou populations have always fluctuated. Some believe the current population loss is due climate change, increasing industrial activity and mining intrusions on calving grounds. But many also suggest that modern hunting is hindering the caribou's ability to recover.

See more articles on the Canadian North

1 comment:

ben_deb> said...

we should not get limits for the caribou. you live up north, you have to pay expensive food. people in walfare, not too affordable, good fresh free meat. fear enough? good.