Caribou hang out on the Alaska Highway in 2013. Interactions between Ross River Dena Council members and non-Kaska hunters in the Ross River area have been largely positive after non-Kaska hunters were asked to obtain a permit directly from the First Nation. (Jesse Winter/Yukon News file)

Non-Kaska hunters respectful of RRDC hunting rules, says councillor

RRDC councillor Derrick Redies said the First Nation will “absolutely” have permits next year, too

Non-Kaska hunting in Ross River Dena Council’s (RRDC) traditional territory this season have been largely respectful of its new hunting rules, a councillor for the First Nation says.

Earlier this summer, RRDC placed ads in the News stating that it would require all non-Kaska hunters hoping to hunt in the Ross River area this season to obtain a permit directly from the First Nation. It also issued a moratorium on hunting in 11 areas and an early end to hunting on moose, caribou and sheep.

While the ads appeared to have initially caught the Yukon government and many hunters off-guard, RRDC councillor Derrick Redies said that interactions between RRDC members and hunters in Ross River and out on the land throughout hunting season have been “largely positive.”

“Naturally, I knew there was going to be people that were for it and people that are against it, but largely, it’s been hugely positive,” Redies said in an interview Sept. 28. “I mean, a lot of the non-Kaska hunters that have applied, I’ve had some dialogue with them, they totally understand why and it’s very humbling for me to know that such a large number of the people we’re dealing with really understood the initiatives.”

Hunters who weren’t aware of RRDC’s permits or moratoriums also acted respectfully when RRDC members informed them of the rules, Redies added, and either chose to hunt elsewhere or went back into town to obtain a permit.

The RRDC gave out all 15 of its caribou permits “really quickly,” Redies said, while not all 25 of its sheep permits were claimed. Redies said he wasn’t sure whether RRDC issued all 43 of its moose permits.

Redies said he hasn’t seen any of the racist comments posted online in response to news about the RRDC’s hunting rules, but would invite anyone who feels “like they’re being threatened or pushed away to first come down, learn more about our culture and maybe that will provide a little more understanding as to why we’re taking this initiative.”

“I would always take the opportunity to first say that, we were not about trying to shut down or keep out any non-Kaska hunters, you know?” he said. “… We’ve got the inherent duty, responsibility and rights that we want to protect.”

The issue is so important to RRDC, he added, that the First Nation has taken on introducing and enforcing its permits and moratoriums without any funding, with elders even “pulling their own money out of their pockets” to help pay for the newspaper ads.

“That’s pretty powerful, it just shows the commitment that they have,” Redies said.

RRDC will “absolutely” have permits in place again next year, Redies said. He’s also hopeful that RRDC will be able to have more conversations with the Yukon government on hunting and conservation issues so that “we can come to some form of collaboration and understanding.”

“We have to co-exist together, we’re not just going to go away,” he said.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

Local poet Joanna Lilley is photographed at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 20, where she will be hosting a poetry workshop on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Poetry for the ages

Workshop set for the Yukon Beringia Centre

President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris in the State Dinning Room of the White House on Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C. The administration announced plans Jan. 20 for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Gwich’in. (Alex Brandon/AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden halts oil and gas lease sales in ANWR

“Its great to have an ally in the White House”

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Jan. 22, 2021

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Most Read