The question we pose for this issue concerns gun regulations or hunting restrictions. Some of the regulations from section 57 of the Conservation Act state that no one is to leave a cartridge in the chamber or charger. No one is to shoot a firearm from a vehicle, including a snowmobile. No one is allowed to hunt at night-time from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise. And Crees are not allowed to give, sell, or trade wild meat to non-beneficiaries. Just to name a few.
Chiasisbi’s Eddy Pachano: Gun regulations do not correspond with the Cree traditional ways of life. My son was fined because his shells were in the charger. When he received his fine, I told his lawyer that I’ll take responsibility for this. I taught him this because this is the way I learned from my parents and it has always worked for me. I’m going to challenge this. I want to educate the bureaucrats who make these laws for us. They write laws about the places they’ve never been or people they’ve never been with. I know this will cost me. But I will get support from the people. White ways have never worked for us. That’s why I want to educate and challenge these bureaucrats to make just a few minor changes.
Chisasibi resident Richard Pepabino: I really don’t mind some of the regulations if it’s for safety purposes for everybody. But I have always been concerned how White hunters behave when hunting season is open. I’ve seen caribou shot right in the middle of the road with pools of blood on the road. I don’t think this is allowed. Crees have always hunted caribou off the highways. I’ve also seen ptarmigan with just the breast area taken and the rest left behind. I saw how they just cut up the caribou, take what they need and the rest left on the snow. Those who make these regulations are not doing a good job in following them either.
Daniel Moses of Eastmain: I think the gun regulations are good. It’s also not a good idea to shoot from vehicles either or keep shells in guns while you’re in the vehicle because you never know when some young kid can get a hold of the gun and play with it and that can cause serious accidents. This has been known to happen. About hunting at night, I only heard of hunting beaver early in the evenings but not for moose or caribou. Crees have never needed to hunt at night.
Waskaganish resident Alan McLeod:
I haven’t heard anyone complaining so far with the gun or hunting regulations around here yet or I don’t know about it. Myself I follow all the regulations. I haven’t had any problems yet. I used to go up to LG-3 for caribou. One time a French guy was shooting in our direction, I was really shaken up. I heard also a guy from Chisasibi who has his cabin along the road, a bullet landed right on his door. It’s dangerous out there around this time. There should be stricter laws for White hunters.
Nemaska talleyman Freddy Jolly: I think the gun regulations were written so the government can sneak into Cree territory just to harass the Crees. They’ll never stop. They always find a way to step all over us. Another thing I want to mention is when I hear Crees messing around with guns. That is not the Cree way. It is time for the police forces in Eeyou Istchee to start programs for young people to teach them the proper use of guns and why we use guns. It is only for hunting purposes and parents can help too.