Traditional Indigenous deer hunt to close parts of Hamilton conservation area


Published November 3, 2023 at 4:26 pm

deer Dundas Valley Conservation Area deer hunt Indigenous traditions

The traditional Haudenosaunee deer hunt in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area will result in closures on some days from Nov. 6 to Dec. 7. 

“Hamilton Police Services, and City of Hamilton municipal law enforcement and Ministry of Natural Resources Enforcement staff have been consulted with respect to public safety and advised of the harvest and corresponding area closures,” the Hamilton Conservation Authority announced on its website.

It said nearby residents will be notified and trail signs will go up regarding the harvest and closures.

The harvest is limited to 60 deer.

The deer hunt is a longtime Haudenosaunee tradition. For thousands of years, it has been an integral part of the Indigenous people’s way of life.

The Nanfan Treaty or the Treaty at Albany of 1701 gives the Haudenosaunee the right to harvest and fish in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, according to Hamilton Conservation Authority.

“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,” the conservation authority said on its website.

Harvesting will only occur on lands owned by the Hamilton Conservation Authority on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from Nov. 6 to Dec. 7. One of the areas has no public access or trail system.

The Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority and Hamilton Conservation Authority struck an agreement for the 2023 season that addresses the treaty rights of the Haudenosaunee. 

The Hamilton Conservation Authority created a protocol in 2011 with the Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority on harvesting a limited number of deer in certain areas of the environmental agency’s lands.

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