Cree Hunters from Waskaganish made a six-day trip to Kahnawake Decemeber 8 -14 to help the Mohawk community control a beaver overpopulation problem.
The beavers were damaging public and private property. Fallen trees and flooding from excess damming became an issue in Kahnawake.
“It spread to the point that we were worried about the railroad,” said Joe Delaronde, spokeperson for the Kahnawake Mohawks, on the frequency of fallen trees.
Local hunters and trappers were unable to control the beaver population so Chief Robert Patton asked members of the Cree Nation of Waskaganish for assistance.
Nelson Blackned, Gordon Weistche, Jeremiah Hester and Louisa Bobbish were the hunters who came down to help Kahnawake.
Chief Patton offered them lodging at his house during their stay in Kahnawake.
Their visit provided the opportunity for a cross-cultural exchange. Local hunters shadowed the group of four as they worked to better understand the art of beaver hunting. Schoolchildren from Kahnawake interacted with the Cree hunters and learned about the cultural aspects of hunting.
By the morning of Dec. 14, 61 beavers had been caught. Overall the hunt was “very successful”, stated Delaronde.