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Fax 416-325-1564

Attention: Honourable Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry


Cc: Luke Coady, Bronte Creek Provincial Park Superintendent
Cc: Mark Custers, Assistant Superintendent, Ontario Parks
Cc: Jolanta Kowalski, Senior Media Relations Officer at Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
RE: Haudenosaunee right to hunt at Short Hills Provincial Park
As residents of Ontario, we are writing to thank you for your good work in supporting the Haudenosaunee
hunt of white-tailed deer at Short Hills Provincial Park near St. Catharines, Ontario. As supporters, we feel this
hunt is justified in three important ways; with respect for treaty rights, through good stewardship of Ontarios
natural resources, and through demonstrably safe hunting practices.
According to the Nanfan Treaty of 1701, the Crown guaranteed the Haudenosaunee people the right to hunt
on their traditional territory, of which Short Hills Provincial Park is now a part. This treaty right was reaffirmed
by the Ontario Courts in 1990 with the understanding that a treaty must be seen as a living document which
evolves with changing times according to the underlying original intent (R. v. Ireland). To that end, inviting
Haudenosaunee hunters to Short Hills to exercise their customary hunting practices today upholds the spirit of
this Treaty.
Additionally, given that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) found that there are roughly
six times the number of deer in Short Hills than what the land can support, we agree that enabling a
Haudenosaunee deer hunt is good stewardship. While white tailed deer are native to southern Ontario,
overpopulations can devastate a landscape, foster diseases in the herd, and come into harmful contact with
nearby human communities. A healthy forest is a forest everyone can enjoy for generations, which we are
certain is a shared long term goal for Short Hills Provincial Park and our respective communities.
Because the residents of the Niagara region do enjoy Short Hills Provincial Park, and due to its proximity to
private homes and lands, conducting the hunt safely is clearly essential. We know that the Ministry is paying
close attention to safety by working with First Nations hunters, maintaining closed perimeters around the
park, and by communicating with local non-Aboriginal residents. It is our hope that local residents, in turn,
would work with the MNRF to address any concerns in a way that respects the inherent Aboriginal and Treaty
rights of the Haudenosaunee.
These hunts demonstrate the potential for partnership between the Haudenosaunee and the Province of
Ontario in management of the land for all peoples to enjoy. First Nations culture and livelihood does not have
to be a casualty of land management and the ecology of Short Hills Provincial Park can be managed in a way
that references relevant Treaty and Aboriginal rights. Thank you for respecting these rights and for supporting
this hunt.

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