2018 Indigenous Harvesting

Management of Indigenous Harvesting in Provincial and Territorial Protected Areas

Province/TerritoryName of Managing JurisdictionPark ClassificationNature of the Harvesting / Traditional Activities PermittedAdditional Comments
British ColumbiaProvincial Parks and Protected Areas (PPAs)PPAsIndigenous traditional activities, including hunting and fishing permitted in the majority of parks and protected areasTraditional activities are limited based on two variables:Conservation considerations: threatened or endangered species or those whose population size would not support Indigenous harvesting. Public safety – certain PPAs or specific locations in PPAs are closed to hunting, due to high-risk assessments where public safety is the priority, as hunting would conflict with public safety (e.g. developed park facilities such as park day-use areas and campgrounds, or urban-based parks heavily populated with adjacent residential areas, etc.). There are few, if any, restrictions to fishing related to public safety considerations.
Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Parks DivisionWildland Provincial Parks (~63% of Park System)Fishing permitted in most Wildland Provincial Park water bodies and water coursesHunting and trapping permittedTraditional use activities supported (i.e. berry picking, medicinal plant harvesting, ceremonial activities)The majority of the parks system (~83%) in Alberta allows hunting and trapping activities to occur, in recognition that many of the parks across the province are used by Indigenous peoples to exercise their constitutionally protected rights to hunt, fish, and trap for food, and respect for the ongoing exercise of such rights in the parks system. Fishing is permitted in most water bodies and water courses in the parks system.Alberta recognizes that First Nations and Métis Settlement members may engage in customs or practices on the land that are not existing section 35 rights but are nonetheless important. These “traditional uses” include burial grounds, gathering sites, and historical or ceremonial locations, and do not refer to proprietary interests in the land. Parks help support traditional use activities, because these areas are subject to less disturbance and development than other areas in the province. Although traditional use activities are not expressly mentioned in relevant Alberta Parks legislation, regulations, regional plans, or particular park management plans, etc., this does not mean that those activities cannot occur: quite the contrary, traditional uses can occur to the extent otherwise permitted by law, and/or depending on the nature of the activity.
Willmore Wilderness Park (~15% of Parks System)Fishing permittedHunting and trapping permittedTraditional use activities supported (i.e. berry picking, medicinal plant harvesting, ceremonial activities)
Provincial Parks (~8% of Park System)Fishing permitted in most Provincial Park water bodies and water coursesTraditional use activities supported (i.e. berry picking, medicinal plant harvesting, ceremonial activities)Hunting and trapping not permitted in the majority of Provincial Parks
Natural Areas (~4.5% of Park System)Fishing is permitted in most Natural Area water bodies and water coursesHunting and trapping permitted in the majority of Natural Areas with some exceptionsTraditional use activities supported (i.e. berry picking, medicinal plant harvesting, ceremonial activities)
Wilderness Areas (~3.5% of Park System)Non-consumptive nature-based traditional use activities supported (i.e. ceremonial activities)Fishing not permittedHunting and trapping not permitted
Ecological Reserves (~1% of Park System)
Provincial Recreation Areas (~3% of Park System)Fishing permitted in most Provincial Recreation Area water bodies and water coursesTraditional use activities supported (i.e. berry picking, medicinal plant harvesting, ceremonial activities) Hunting and trapping not permitted in the majority of Provincial Recreation Areas
Heritage Rangelands (~0.4% of Park System)Hunting and trapping permitted. Entry subject to grazing lease access conditionsFishing permitted in most Heritage Rangeland water bodies and water coursesTraditional use activities supported (i.e. berry picking, medicinal plant harvesting, ceremonial activities)
SaskatchewanMinistry of Parks, Culture and SportProvincial park landsSubsistence hunting can occur where licensed sport and guided hunting is permitted within a park according to provincial legislation and regulations (e.g. the Wildlife Act and Regulations), Saskatchewan Treaty and Aboriginal Rights for Hunting and Fishing Guide, and park zoningSubsistence and licensed hunting not permitted in core developed areas or in close proximity to backcountry infrastructure such as rustic campgrounds and trail networksSubsistence fishing can occur where licensed sport and guided fishing is permitted within a park according to provincial legislation and regulations (e.g. the Wildlife Act and Regulations), Saskatchewan Treaty and Aboriginal Rights for Hunting and Fishing Guide, park zoning, and where federal fisheries closures are not in placeSubsistence trapping occurs in parks where this activity is allowed; however, most trapping activities are restricted to commercial trapping zones assigned to licensed commercial trappersTraditional use activities such as gathering of plants for food or medicine can occur for own use and cultural purposes. Park managers should be informed of gathering activitiesCommercial harvesting cannot occurSpecies at risk cannot be gatheredThe exercise of Treaty and Aboriginal rights is allowed on much of Saskatchewan’s provincial park lands, including subsistence fishing, hunting, and trapping, as well as the pursuit of traditional activities such as the gathering of plants for food and medicinal purposes and spiritual ceremonies.The provincial park zoning framework is currently being updated. Zone categories (Wilderness; Protection; Natural; Historic; Resource Management; Development; and Access) will be reviewed to address the incorporation of management guidelines addressing subsistence and traditional activities.
ManitobaManitoba Sustainable Development – Parks and Protected Spaces BranchProtected AreasRights of Indigenous peoples are respected in protected areas, which generally remain open to hunting, trapping, fishing, and other traditional usesIn cases where the ecological features or species being protected would preclude the undertaking of traditional uses or activities, Crown-Indigenous consultation would be undertaken before a decision was made on designation of the site. To date, no protected areas in Manitoba prevent the exercise of traditional uses by Indigenous peoples.
OntarioMinistry of Natural Resources and ForestryProtected AreasIndigenous traditional activities, hunting and fishing permitted
QuébecMinistère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP), Sépaq, Kativik Regional Government (KRG)Quebec’s national parks (27 % of protected areas)Fishing is permitted in all of Quebec’s national parks.In northern Quebec, treaty rights are exercisable by beneficiaries. These include harvesting rights such as hunting, fishing and trappingIn southern Quebec, hunting and trapping are not allowed In southern Quebec traditional activities (other than hunting and trapping) for food, ritual and social purposes are permitted – for specific Indigenous groups, in specific parks, specified in regulation In southern Quebec (territory not covered by aboriginal treaties), parks are operated by Sépaq.  In northern Quebec (territory covered by the James-Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement), KRG operates parks north of the 55th parallel (Nunavik Parks).
MFFP and Ministère  du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiquesOther protected areas (72 %)Indigenous traditional activities, hunting and fishing permitted, unless specifically prohibited by regulation.
New BrunswickMinistry of Tourism, Heritage and CultureProvincial ParksFishing permitted for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, in  specific water bodies, under the Parks ActGathering of traditional medicinal plants permittedHunting and timber harvesting not permittedOngoing discussions under way regarding Indigenous harvesting.
Nova ScotiaProvincial Parks and Protected AreasProvincial Parks✔   Fishing permitted Indigenous harvesting and traditional activities not permitted Currently in discussion with the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq about other activities associated with harvesting in wilderness areas (communal camps/cabins, medicinal and ceremonial plant gathering)
Wilderness AreasHunting, fishing and trapping permitted by all individuals, unless specifically prohibited
Nature ReservesHarvesting activities not permitted but currently under discussion
Prince Edward IslandDepartment of TourismProvincial ParksHarvesting activities not permitted
Department of Communities, Lands and EnvironmentProtected AreasIndigenous hunting, fishing and trapping permitted
Provincial LandsIndigenous harvesting permitted on provincial lands with a forest harvest agreement
NewfoundlandDepartment of Tourism, Culture, Industry and InnovationProvincial ParksFishing permitted Hunting not permitted except in waterway provincial parksIn instances where a pre-existing activity where continuation of that activity does not impact the values for which the reserve was established and is at the same or lesser level of use as before establishment.
Wilderness ReservesHunting and fishing allowed with a permit
Ecological ReservesHunting and fishing permitted in select establishments
Nunavut Department of Environment,Nunavut Parks and Special PlacesTerritorial ParksHarvesting, including hunting and fishing activities are not restricted in Nunavut Territorial Parks for beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement Harvesting/traditional activities permitted in territorial parks in accordance with Article 3 of the Umbrella Inuit Impacts and Benefits Agreements for Territorial Parks in the Nunavut Settlement Area (IIBA), signed in 2002 and required by the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement (1993) 
Northwest TerritoriesTerritorial Parks, Protected Areas✔ Harvesting, including hunting and fishing activities, are not restricted The Northwest Territories does not prohibit Indigenous rights holders from undertaking traditional activities in any of its Protected Areas or Northwest Territories Parks.  
YukonNo information received – Yukon Final Umbrella Agreement provides for continued exercise of rights by beneficiaries.