Rabies, raccoons and cougars

Yes, folks all three of the above are alive and well and living in your backyard and in the nearby forests and fields here on the Six Nations of the Grand River Indian Reservation.

In addition to cougars, coons, coyotes; the odd brush wolf are also here in the last stand of the once great Carolinian Forest of Southern Ontario. Of course, our own Six Nations Wild Life Officer (SNWLO) and his Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) colleagues will deny the presence of cougars so as not to cause a general panic among the good citizens of the wonderful province of Ontario; you can bet your booties that those big magnificent denizens of the forest are out there.

Throughout the nine plus years that the author of this article was employed by the Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) of the Six Nations of the Grand River, the author had been sworn to secrecy by the SNWLO and the SAO and the MNR that the author would never, upon penalty of being fired immediately, ever inform anyone of the presence of cougars in this area. If asked by anyone if there were cougars in these parts, the author had been instructed by his superiors to not answer the questions or lie as the MNR had officially declared that cougars were extinct in Southern Ontario.

Moving on to the subjects of rabies and raccoons which are in great supply everywhere in the southern and south western part of the province including your backyards, alleyways, playgrounds and farmers fields; rabies like the now officially extinct cougar is also thriving everywhere.

This is also due in part to the fact that while the author was at his post in the old Six Nations Eco Centre and later in the Wild Life Office at the Iroquois Village Plaza; the MNR had informed the Six Nations Wild Life Office that rabies had been wiped out more than a decade ago and the only animal borne disease which we had to worry about here was; Canine Parvo Virus which, while sickening animals; was not harmful to humans. Believing his supervisor and the MNR, the Six Nations Wild Life Assistant on many occasions would unsuspectingly venture out into the local fields, forests and backyards to confront sick and dying raccoons and some household pets and employ a policy of extreme prejudice against the animal — kill by shooting. However; once again if someone asked about rabies and any danger to themselves; the author was required to inform the person that the sick animal was suffering from Canine Parvo Virus and he or she was in no danger.

Looking back on the whole nine plus years experience while being employed by the Wild Life Office and the SAO; it is incredible that neither the Wild Life Officer nor the Assistant Officer had never been seriously injured or sickened by coming into contact with animals infected with Parvo Virus or the non-existent rabies as neither man had received rabies shots and the office itself contained almost no safety equipment or protective gear to guard against animal bites or serious infections caused by contact with animals.

Staying on the subject of safety equipment; every year the Six Nations Wild Life Office would get many calls regarding Giant Hog Weed and other dangerous plants and like the extinct cougar and rabies; the official word on Giant Hog Weed was: there is no Giant Hog Weed present on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. In the nine plus years of being employed at the Wild Life Office, the author and the Wild Life Officer responded only to calls coming into the office regarding Hog Weed and neither of the two men ever carried out a proactive search for the elusive plant as the Standard Office Procedure regarding dangerous plants was merely; reactive.

In addition to those plants and animals mentioned previously; the Six Nations Wild Life Office received many calls involving exotic animals and reptiles such as boa constrictors; rattle snakes; Australian wombats; laughing hyenas; alligators; dingo dogs; ostriches; llamas; and even Big Foot which we actually investigated as the person who claimed to have encountered Sasquatch was a local man of the cloth, a Pentecostal Preacher who was considered a reputable member of society. Of course, we never located any sign of the creature; even rumours of its existence here in TobaccoStan do persist among many other reputable sightees.

Even though the Six Nations Wild Life Office was supposedly what the name implies; the office did manage to play host to many other unrelated occupations and events.

Beginning in 2007, the staff of the Six Nations Wild Life Office began setting up a series of archaeological events such as Archaeological Monitor Schools; four in total. Six Annual Archaeological Round Tables from 2007 to 2012 and several wild life enforcement conferences aimed at making the people in law enforcement aware of Six Nations community members hunting and fishing and wild life extraction procedures. In other unrelated business, the Wild Life Officer and his assistant also attended many of the meetings at the Oneida Business Park where the talks to look into the Douglas Creek Estates incident were talking place.

The Wild Life Assistant along with the Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC) set up a series of excursions for Six Nations Community members who wanted to see the Burtch Property before it was demolished. These excursions where led by Joe Peledeau from the (ORC) and proved to be very informative before the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs took over the project and closed the site to Six Nations Community members. So; that in a nutshell is just some of the things the Six Nations Wild Office did; should have done and purposely did not do on behalf of the people of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

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