After successfully surpassing the goal of 1,500 online signatures, the Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt delivered their signed petition to the Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at the police headquarters on 5700 Valley Way, Niagara Falls Ontario. The petition calls on the police to no longer allow the barricade at Short Hills Provincial Park and to move the anti-hunt protesters to the side of the road. This solution preserves the protester’s right to be seen and heard while not violating the Treaties, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Constitution of Canada, and as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/honour-the-treaties-stop-the-barricade-at-short-hills and continues to gather signatures.
This 2018 harvest season saw the Niagara Regional Police Service finally remove the anti-hunt protesters from their barricade in the morning, allowing Haudenosaunee harvesters direct entry into the park. However, the police still allow an anti-hunt barricade stalling hunters as they try to leave the park at the end of the day. The petition calls on the police to remove anti-hunt protesters at all times from the barricade, as any form of stall is an interference with Indigenous rights.
Chester Gibson of the Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority said that “Finally after five years at the Short Hills, our harvesters are being allowed direct access to the park. But we shouldn’t be held up by the protesters on our way out. We have a right to be here and we have a right to leave the park without being stalled by protesters.”
Jamie McGean, Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, Haudenosaunee, member of the Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt, explained “The Niagara Regional Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police are supposed to enforce the law, not be complicit in the illegal barricade. The barricade stalls harvesters as they leave the Short Hills which violates their Indigenous rights. The police have a legal obligation to protect our Inherent and Treaty rights.”
Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt was founded in 2014 and supports Indigenous Inherent and Treaty Rights. They have organized educational workshops to increase awareness in Niagara of these issues. A full schedule is available at https://sixnationsrighttohunt.com/workshops-events/. The Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority, which organizes the harvest, is a department tasked by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council with the management of wildlife resources. This year is the fifth year of Haudenosaunee harvesting white-tailed deer at Short Hills Provincial Park.