Ex-Ndilo chief named in wildlife caseGNWT confiscates rifle and caribou in
illegal possession of wildlife investigation
Northern News Services
Published Friday, February 14, 2014
Wildlife officers have seized a rifle and caribou carcass as part of an ongoing investigation for illegal possession of caribou in the North Slave region.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is looking into a case of illegal possession of wildlife and have confiscated a rifle and caribou meat as part of their investigation. - NNSL file photo
Ted Tsetta, the former chief of Ndilo, is a suspect in this investigation, according to a local media outlet. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) did not provide further details on the investigation or confirm the identity of the person they are investigating.
Although Tsetta is aboriginal and has treaty rights, there are a number of restrictions on hunting caribou which could have led ENR to investigate.
As a Dene, Tsetta qualifies for a General Hunting Licence (GHL) in the Northwest Territories, which allows him to harvest caribou in the North Slave region if he's carrying his licence, according to ENR's website.
The two caribou hunting regions closest to Yellowknife, however, require aboriginal hunters with a GHL to carry a special authorization card. Those regions are the
wintering grounds of the Bathurst caribou, which, according to ENR, suffered a major decline in population prior to 2010. Aboriginal harvest of the area is limited to 300 caribou. The harvest is split evenly between the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the Tlicho Government.
The Wekweeti community government issues 150 authorization tags to the Tlicho people, while ENR issues the rest to the Yellowknives Dene, Judy McLinton, spokesperson for ENR, confirmed in an e-mail.
"Authorization cards are issued to GHL holders to harvest in these two hunting zones and to ensure the recovery and conservation of the Bathurst caribou herd," McLinton stated in an e-mail.
McLinton said they've issued no tickets and no charges have been laid yet. The rifle will be returned once the investigation is completed, she added.
Yellowknifer was unable to reach Tsetta for comment by press time.