Manitoba
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Manitoba Hunting Guide

2012 Manitoba Hunting  Guide

The Rights and Responsibilities of
First Nations People

The Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (1930), which forms part of The Constitution Act (1982), provides that Indian people have the right to hunt.

This includes harvesting for food or traditional ceremonial purposes for personal or family use, or for other First Nations persons. Meat may be shared with non-status family members living in the same home.

Non-Indian people may accompany Indian people that are hunting, but may not help them to exercise their hunting rights. For example, a non-Indian person may not assist an Indian hunter by shooting his game, carrying a gun, searching for or flushing game, or be in possession of any meat, or animal parts taken under status Indian hunting rights. They can, however, assist in retrieval of game or transporting of game while accompanying an Indian person. Similarly, licensed hunters can be accompanied by status Indians, but each may only exercise the rights accorded to them individually.

Recognizing the Treaty and Constitutional rights of Indian people, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship considers that status Indian hunters:

  • do not require licences;
  • are not restricted to specific seasons or hours;
  • are not restricted to bag limits; and
  • are not subject to equipment restrictions such as the use of off-road vehicles.

Status Indians generally have right to access to hunt for food within:

  • Indian Reserves, Wildlife Management Areas, Provincial Forests, areas of Provincial Parks where licensed hunting is permitted, unoccupied Crown lands, and other Crown lands where licensed hunting or trapping is permitted;
  • Private land with the permission of the landowner or occupant; and
  • Federal lands, such as community pastures open to the public for hunting, or with the permission of the Pasture Manager.

No person (status or non-status) may hunt within:

  • Riding Mountain National Park, Birds Hill Provincial Park, Beaudry Provincial Park or Pembina Valley Provincial Park;
  • Areas of provincial parks closed to all hunting;
  • Refuges (for the species protected) and most Ecological Reserves; and
  • Areas closed to all persons for specific conservation reasons.

Restrictions that are intended for conservation and safety purposes apply to both status Indians and licensed hunters.

Status Indians may not:

  • hunt protected wildlife for which all hunting is prohibited, such as eagles, hawks, owls and polar bears;
  • waste or abandon wildlife;
  • use or possess lead shot while hunting waterfowl;
  • sell, trade, barter or give away the meat or any part (ex: antlers) of a wild animal taken under status Indian hunting rights, except that food may be given to another Indian person;
  • use hunting methods that are careless, unsafe or dangerous;
  • discharge a rifle or shotgun at night where it is dangerous to do so;
  • hunt from a Provincial Road or Provincial Trunk Highway, or discharge a bow or firearm from such a road or highway, or shoot along or across such a road or highway (including the road allowance);
  • discharge a centrefire rifle, muzzle-loading firearm or shotgun using a slug from a public road within a municipality or local government district, or shoot along or across such a road; and
  • carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle or discharge a firearm from a vehicle.

It is also recommended that hunters:

  • wear hunter orange clothes when hunting;
  • carry the federally issued Certificate of Indian Status to help a Conservation Officer determine that they are entitled to exercise the right to hunt for food; and
  • take the Hunter Education Course.

For more detailed information, please contact the nearest Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship office, or telephone (204) 945-6784 in Winnipeg, 1-800-214-6497 outside Winnipeg or see First Nations Rights and Responsibilities