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Hunting And Fishing Rights In Canada

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For many years many indigenous people lived off hunting and fishing for survival and still do today. Many indigenous people’s rights to hunt and fish mean so much more than just a hobby or sport, to others it could be survival, culture and much more. This research essay is going to talk about how fishing and hunting rights affect indigenous people’s ways, how it affects their everyday life, their past, and possibly their future. The first point is about why the indigenous hunting and fishing rights were needed. The second point is about which treaties were signed, and how they affected their rights to be able to fish and hunt. The third and final point is about the history of indigenous people hunting and fishing, so how they did it before the settlers came to Canada.

The first point is about why the hunting and fishing rights were needed. One reason is so we don’t over hunt the population. This is important because people want future generations to enjoy wildlife as they do, laws to conserve the wildlife have since been passed. These laws establish hunting seasons that avoid nesting and mating season and limit harvesting. A second important reason is the fur trade back in the day, the fur trade was the biggest business in Canada. This was due to the fact the fur created soft comfortable jackets that kept you warm during cold seasons. Although it was a good thing business was booming this made the owners of the companies force employees to kill more animals for more fur.

This meant animals were dying out much more than before and some species could possibly go extinct. Due to this laws and rights needed to be made for hunters. These laws and rights help protect the animals. The fur traders now have a limit to the number of animals they can kill. The third reason was so people don’t overfish the population lots of fishing laws have been made. The most important one is when they created fishing seasons, fishing seasons protect fish during spawning and limit the amount of fish you can catch. This then increases the size of the population and size limits are to protect fish of spawning size before they are caught. The main goal of fishing laws is to make sure everyone can enjoy fishing and to preserve the fish. These are the three main reasons hunting and fishing rights were created, the next paragraph will talk about three important treaties that indigenous signed.

The second point is about treaties and what indigenous could do and what they couldn’t when they were signed. The first treaty signed was the Robinson treaty in 1850 this treaty allowed indigenous people to hunt and fish on ceded territory only. Ceded territory means that the land is lived on by other tribes, nations, or groups. The second treaties signed were the Vancouver treaties in 1850-1854. The deal made in these treaties were that indigenous people would give up land for clothes and cash, but they would still be able to hunt. At first this worked, and they were able to hunt and fish on the land but eventually they were pushed off and forced to live in reserves. This treaty shows how the indigenous were mistreated and how they also put faith in the settlers and trusted them. The third and final treaties signed are the Williams treaties in 1923. These treaties force the indigenous to surrender their title to the land and their hunting and fishing rights on the properties. There are also many more treaties not listed here but these are the three that show how the indigenous were mistreated and that is an important topic. The next paragraph will talk about how it was like to hunt and fish before all the treaties and all the settlers.

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The third point is about the history of indigenous people hunting and fishing before the settlers came to Canada. This is an important topic because this shows how hunting has changed over the years, this may be due to the facts that guns and bullets are now around and are much easier to use then weapons in the past. The first method indigenous people used to hunt was the bow and arrow. They used these bows and arrows to kill larger animals like bison, deer and elk. The arrows they used were made from a variety of things such as dogwood, wild rose, ash, birch, chokecherry, and black locust. Arrows made from these things allowed them to fly far and hard for long periods of time, they were also very durable and could be reused. Another hunting method used was snares and traps, this was a dominant method when they were trying to fur trap. It’s mostly done for the fur of the animal, but some people use this method for food.

An example of trapping is the beaver trap, the trappers would place fish on the other side and once the beaver went for the fish the entrance it came through would drop onto its head which ends up decapitating the beaver. Once they killed the beaver, they would either use him for a source of food or for a source of fur for the fur trading market. The main fishing method was spears which they would throw at the fish with a line attached to it so they can pull the spear back to them. The spears were mainly wooden and had a sharpened rock attached to the tip of it. The second fishing method was fishing nets which weren’t as popular back then, but you caught fish much more efficiently using the net method. Fishing was used much more in coastal spots in Canada whereas hunting was used all over Canada for fur and food. If you think of all these points together there is a clear reason why these hunting and fishing rights were made. This next paragraph is about summarizing everything that has been said so far in this essay.

All these reasons that have been said so far impact the reason why hunting and fishing rights are not only needed but were made. The first point is talking about why the hunting and fishing rights were needed. The three points used in that paragraph were don’t over hunt, the fur trade, and to not overfish. These are all things that are clearly important because if overfishing or over hunting happen there will be gone a lot of the world’s food source. The fur trade was also very important because the number of animals getting killed for fur was so high eventually the government created a law to limit the animal’s deaths. The second point is talking about important treaties. The three points used were the Robinson treaty, the Vancouver Island treaties, and the Williams treaties. These treaties all talk about deals made between the indigenous and the settlers and also where they were able to fish and hunt. Some of the treaties signed allowed them to still hunt and fish whereas others allowed them to do neither. The third and final point is talking about how indigenous people’s history of hunting before settlers. The four points used in that paragraph were the methods they used to hunt and fish.

The four methods were bows and arrows, snares and traps, spears, and nets. Bows and arrows, and snares and traps were methods used for hunting. Bows and arrows were used on bigger animals like deer, elk, and bison whereas snares and traps were used mainly for the fur trade. This means once they caught the animal, they would only have use for the skin sometimes it was also used for food. Spears and nets were used mainly on the coast of Canada for fishing. Spears were more common to use however nets were most likely easier to use because of the degree of difficulty it takes to use.

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Hunting And Fishing Rights In Canada. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from
“Hunting And Fishing Rights In Canada.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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