Time-tested knowledge, techniques and skills

Indigenous hunting and fishing guides are well versed in the most important pieces of local knowledge and time-tested skills. Stalking and killing techniques have been a rite of passage for Indigenous men since time began. Indigenous fishing guides may share the best fishing spots and angling secrets passed down through generations.

A deep bond with nature

Indigenous Peoples’ connection to nature is both spiritual and deeply practical. By paying close attention to the movements of animals and the cycles of nature, our ancestors ensured our survival. Lessons passed down through Oral Tradition were important instructional tools that enable us to understand the world around us. These lessons teach us the origins of certain species, laws and behavioural codes, and the skills needed to sustain our Peoples. For example, stories of greedy hunters who met with unusual fates taught lessons of only taking what you need. Star stories taught lessons in astronomy and celestial navigation.

Healthy environment, healthy people

There is a fundamental understanding among Indigenous Peoples that we are part of the environment and a larger ecosystem. As such, we have a responsibility to maintain and support the natural world. Traditional hunting practices and sustainable consumption are part of our responsibility to nature. After a hunt, Indigenous communities traditionally endeavoured to use every piece of the animal. Meat and fat were cooked, bones were pounded down to extract the marrow or use for tools, hides were turned into clothing or shelter, hair was turned into yarn or cord, antlers were used for tools, and teeth and claws were used for jewellery.

Animal and fish populations were also carefully sustained and conserved. For example, in some fishing nations, the strongest fish that reached the highest pools were left uncaught to ensure they could pass on their genes through spawning. And in other fishing nations, small holes were cut in nets to let a certain number of strong fish slip through.

Today, Indigenous hunting and fishing practices are an important part of reclaiming our identity and traditional nutritional habits. Sustainable hunting encourages a healthy dynamic between communities and animals, and enables us to eat the same healthy foods as our ancestors.