Montague Expresses Disappointment, Frustration Over Government’s “flip-flop” on Metis Hunting Rights
Tuesday, 04 Sep 2007
Labrador Metis Nation President Chris Montague is calling on the provincial minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs to help restore a relationship of mutual respect between the government and the LMN by dismissing hunting charges against 16 Inuit-Metis.
In a letter to Tom Rideout, who is also the attorney general, Mr. Montague notes his disappointment and frustration with the charges.”As you know, our people have traditionally lived off the land and many today still depend on wild game to feed their families,” Mr. Montague writes. “It is disturbing, at the very least, that these charges were laid after you, personally, provided reassurances that the Province would not interfere with our right to hunt. ”
On April 11 of this year the Minister made the following statement on VOCM’s Open Line: “We will just keep our distance and not interfere with the Metis right to hunt for subsistence…” Mr. Montague says it now appears as though the Minister has “flip-flopped” on the issue.
“Why would you – the Attorney General, Deputy Premier, Minister of Fisheries and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs – mislead our people by assuring them that they would not be charged for gathering food for their families?”
Bert Pomeroy, Communications