The new Métis Harvesting in Alberta Policy replaces the 2010 policy and recognizes the right of CITIZENS eligible for the MNA to hunt, fish and fish in five major regional Métis harvesting areas in central and northern Alberta (unlike the 25 much smaller local Métis harvest areas provided for by the 2010 policy). In 2007, IMHA was unilaterally repealed and a new policy of Ed Stelmach`s Progressive Conservative government was implemented, which was severely restricted where Metis could harvest, excluding the harvesting rights of Metis living in southern Alberta. The interim agreement was originally scheduled to expire in April, but the government extended it by 90 days in hopes of negotiating a longer-term contract, said Jason Gariepy, a spokesman for Alberta`s Aboriginal Ministry of Aboriginal Relations. The Government of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta have signed a new agreement that has expanded the Métis harvesting area in the province. “But I want to believe that while we have moved and things have changed, reconciliation has certainly been spoken by all parties. I think we have a harvest agreement that is recognized and accepted by all parties if we move forward,” she said. Meanwhile, a Metis man, Garry Hirsekorn, has been charged with cancelling the hunt in the cypress hills. The MNA took advantage of the Hirsekorn case to ask the province to change its policy on the right to harvest metis. But Hirsekorn was fined by the first instance, which did not find enough evidence to support the assertion of Metis` presence in the area before 1874. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision and the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal.
Reves said he sorted the lynx because he was captured on his catch line. “I think that`s what we need to remember: if you want to harvest, you have to respect it and use it properly, and not exceed it.” “It is very likely that the Alberta government will begin charging legitimate Métis harvesters who are trying to feed their families,” said Poitras, who added that the trial is failing in light of recent court decisions on Métis harvesting rights. The new agreement also recognizes the right of trappers to pass on their traps to family members and allows Metis to fish with a hose and roller, not just a net. “What we`re going to do is present the historical evidence that was also in the courts that I don`t think anyone took into account… Give our evidence, hopefully (the Alberta government) to see that there should be harvesting rights in the south… “The Hirsekorn case is very informed (this agreement),” said MNA President Audrey Poitras. Alberta took the view that they would not talk about the South. That`s where we landed. Makowecki would have liked Alberta Fish and Gaming to be involved in the debate on the Metis agreement because its members have a long history in the province. However, the De Moisson Metis agreement establishes a discussion table “in recognition of the issues that the MNA has described as important to them,” including harvesting rights in southern Alberta. This interim agreement allowed Metis to hunt, capture and fish on Crown and private land (with permission) and on any body of water in the province with the corresponding licence.