Back row from left: Jason Laronde, Brendan Houston, Cameron Welch, Chris Lachance, Don Rouleau, Brodie Laronde, Dan Gagnon, Quintin Bullock, Arnya Assance. Front Row: Tammy Desmoulin, Kadin Laronde, Lisa Robinson, Rhonda Gagnon.

By Lisa Robinson

NIPISSING FIRST NATION—The Lands and Resources Department at the Union of Ontario Indians participated in a Fur Harvest, Management and Conservation course from April 22-26.

The course consisted of hands-on learning where staff learned techniques to skin, process and prepare pelts of different animals such as mink, otter, marten, beaver, lynx, coyote, fox and wolf.

Learning about the biology and life cycle of each animal illustrated the ecological aspect of just how intricately land management is connected to wildlife.

“Learning how to trap and snare is a skill I am proud of, it is a connection to my father, uncles and grandfathers,” expressed one participant. “This introduction to the trapper way of life increases my respect and admiration of our ancestors and their knowledge of the land.”

For our ancestors, having the land as a classroom and learning first-hand from their fathers, was the best education. Our ancestors knew what to look for, such as habitat, and food sources, to best manage and sustain a healthy population within their trap lines and territories—they were the first Land Managers. The enthusiasm of the youth participants clearly illustrated how important these experiential learning experiences are to further share this knowledge.

Chi-miigwech to instructors Chris Lachance and Don Rouleau for sharing their wealth of knowledge and experiences with the Lands and Resources team and their youth guests.