Canadian Indians win right to hunt at night

When I went to New Zealand early this year and got some time to talk with the Maori, I got a new found respect for the importance of hunting traditions to native people. Indeed, this desire on their part may end up being important to keep hunting going. It is good to hear about this legal victory in Canada. In this Canadian case though I find it amazing that so-called public safety concerns that are not based on any statistical evidence might possibly outweight treaty obligations. Even if the evidence existed, it is not clear why it should outweigh the treat.

In a split decision, the judges said rights given to Indians in treaties can overrule current Canadian laws.

Native groups are calling it an important victory but critics say the ruling ignores important concerns over public safety.

Hunting in the dark is illegal because it is widely felt to be very dangerous.

Ten years ago, two hunters from the Tsartlip Indian band on Vancouver Island were hunting at night with rifles and electric torches.

But their only catch turned out to be a decoy deer set up in the woods by wildlife officials.

The two hunters were arrested.

But the pair argued that hunting at night is a traditional practice for their tribe, that a treaty signed back in 1852 specifically mentions it and that grants them the right to carry on doing it. . . .

But the court itself was split over the issue, with several of the judges saying public safety should outweigh all other concerns, even in sensitive aboriginal rights cases. . . .


Anonymous Nimrod45 said...

Of course they want "public safety" to outweigh all other considerations, because *THEY* are the ones who get to define just what "public safety" is - or not.

In all the debate here over the past decade on "gun control", I have not once heard any specific definition by the Lieberals/anti gun lobby exactly what they mean by "public safety". It's just a buzzword, doubleplusgood newspeak for "whatever we say it is"...

Don't fall for it.

BTW, why are "aborigianl rights issues" more "sensitive" than non-native rights?

12/24/2006 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Well, the sentence structure is a little bit awkward. They said "public safety", but undoubtedly meant "public safety concerns". If they actual intended the former, then you're correct, that hard evidence would be important, but since it's really the later, we're only dealing with people's feelings. These days that's what really counts, not facts, To paraphrase an old 60's line, "Reality is a crutch for people who can't deal with modern liberalism."

12/24/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, Nimrod45 and Ken. I hope that you both have a wonderful Christmas.

12/25/2006 2:24 AM  
Blogger saturdaynightspecial said...

Typically the excuse again is 'the public's safety.' And the results always leave the public less safe. It don't matter if the excuse comes from a city council or the US Supreme Court.

Government is our worst enemy.

12/25/2006 4:00 AM  

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