Fish and Wildlife Resource Centre
A Brief History of the Anishinaabe Trapping in the Treaty # 3 Area Quoted by the late Elder Charlie Fisher’s Paper
For the Anishinaabe people, trapping is not simply a satisfying way of livelihood. Trapping is the Anihsinaabe way is and foremost a spiritual activity. At its most basic level, it means:
- Giving respect for the land and animals in the Anihsinaabe was so that life on the land will be renewed;
- Giving respect for those people who have sacred knowledge of how to trap in a sustainable way based on Anishinaabe teachings and knowledge.
Our Anishinaabe way of trapping is not something that was only valuable in bygone days. It is a way of life that has its own value for our people today. In our sacred way of respect in trapping we followed the practices that are necessary to renew life on the land. This included our sacred spiritual ways. When we trapped a beaver, we put as many as seven parts of it back in the water. When we trapped a muskrat, we put three parts back in the water. This was the way of respect that we followed for all animals.
Our Anishinaabe sacred people never talk about the “management “of “fur bearing resources”. In terms of Anishinaabe people, these animals are better understood as our relatives. Many of them are clan doodems of our people. We have our own ways of speaking about them and relating to them. Our knowledge of our animals is often expressed in the language of our ceremonies. Our knowledge has arisen out of our relationship to our lands and animals.
The Resource Centre offers the following services:
- Issuing of licences to Treaty #3 trappers
- Collection of harvest data from Treaty #3 trappers
- Community Trapper’s Licensing Agents
- Maintenance of 12 Qualified Training Instructors so that they could educate interested trapper’s in the Treaty #3 area
- The Trappers Steering Committee continue their involvement with the Resource Centre
- 2 Full Time Employees, a Director and an Assistant
- Geographical Information System Manager
- Participation in fur marketing and promotion
- Participation in the control of nuisance animals
- Compliance on standards set by EU
- Transfer and allocation of traplines
- A full databank of trapping information
We offer advice and help recovering trap lines back to the families that have a historical connection. We sell trapping licenses to the trappers in the Treaty 3 communities and keep records of the animals harvested. We are here to take advice from the Elders and trappers. They are constantly encouraging their youth to get involved into the trapping life as this is part of their heritage. We travel into the Treaty # 3 communities and hold information sessions where we give an update of what we do here at the Fish & Wildlife Resource Centre. We record our meetings and take note of the concerns and questions the Elders, trappers and all interested parties are saying and offer help following up on these issues.
- We do strive to meet regularly with our Trapper Steering Committee members who consists of an Elder, Head Trapping Instructor and three other avid trappers from the Treaty # 3 communities.
- Recently as March 2011, we started a program called Traps for Trade; where we offer new certified traps for old traps at half price to our trappers in the T3 area. This program was set up to offset the cost of converting old traps to newer certified traps under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS).
- There are trapping courses available in the communities that are instructed by a traditional trapper who teaches with an emphasis on the Anishinaabe aspect. We are encouraging communities to partner with other communities in promoting trapping education courses.
For further information call Dave Lindsay at the Fish & Wildlife Resource Centre at toll free # 1-800-665-3384 or 1-807-548-4214 ext 2230 or 2231.
For more information:
Fur Harvesters Auction Inc.
North American Fur Auction Inc.