The Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority (HWHA) and Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) have agreed to a Specific Agreement for the 2015-2016 season based on the existing Protocol to address the Treaty Rights of the Haudenosaunee on HCA-owned lands.
Deer harvesting for the 2015-2016 season will be conducted in two areas of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area (DVCA) designated as Schedule A and Schedule B (see below). For the months of November and December 2015, harvesting will occur within Schedule A. Harvesting for January 2016 will take place within Schedule B. The area designated in Schedule B has no public access or trail system.
Within Schedule A, harvesting will only occur on HCA-owned lands on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays only between November 16 and December 10 of 2015.
For Schedule B, harvesting will occur on HCA-owned lands on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays only between January 4 and January 14 of 2016.
The number of deer to be harvested is limited at 60 deer. The Hamilton Police Services and Ministry of Natural Resources Enforcement staff have been consulted with respect to public safety and advised of the harvest and corresponding area closures. Appropriate trail signage and notification to adjacent residents will be provided about the harvest and area closure.
Deer harvesting has been a long standing tradition of the Haudenosaunee dating back thousands of years and serving an important role in their way of life. With regards to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area (DVCA), the Nanfan Treaty or the Treaty at Albany of 1701 gives the Haudenosaunee the right to harvest and fish in this area.
In 2011, the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs recognized and fully supported this Treaty and encouraged the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) to continue collaboration with the Haudenosaunee. The HCA recognizes the importance and validity of the Nanfan Treaty and also respects the important cultural role that deer harvesting plays in the Haudenosaunee’s way of life.
In 2011, the HCA’s Board of Directors authorized entering into an agreement with the Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority (HWHA) to establish a protocol regarding deer harvesting on HCA-owned lands. An agreement was made and continues to be in effect allowing the HWHA to harvest a set number of deer in selected parts of the DVCA.
“The HCA and the HWHA would be in continuous contact with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Hamilton Police Services to secure their cooperation towards ensuring public safety” said Chris Firth-Eagland, HCA’s Chief Administrative Officer. “The HWHA will be using traditional methods only such as archery equipment and not firearms or methods involving dogs, feed bait, or jack-lighting” added Firth-Eagland.
Paul Williams of the HWHA says, “We’re confident that we have been able to find a place where it is safe for our hunters to go; where we can exercise legal traditional rights carefully. And we’re grateful that we are able to work with partners who share our ecological values. Of course we intend to conduct the harvest safely, humanely, and consistent with best conservation practices. And the deer taken will go to longhouses for ceremonies and to elders, as well as to feed hunters’ families”.
Director of Conservation Area Services