The Fur Institute of Canada’s 29th Annual General Meeting was held in the beautiful northern city of Iqaluit.
On Friday, June 22, the Fur Institute of Canada hosted an Arctic Symposium on Wildlife Management and Trade,
where attendees heard from nine speakers in a variety of presentations covering topics such as polar bears,
international trade, and the EU ban on seals. Later that night, FIC members participated in Iqaluit’s fifth
annual Celebration of the Seal, held in Sylvia Grinnell Park, where those in attendance had the opportunity
to taste delicious seal meat. The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, June 23, and followed by an
evening banquet, where delegates heard from this year’s keynote speaker Aaju Peter, who spoke about the devastating
effects of the seal ban on Inuit peoples. The Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association hosted a fashion show,
highlighting seal skin garments. Generous donors provided quality items for our successful live auction,
silent auction, and raffles. Thank you to all FIC members and guests who attended this year’s events and to
our volunteers who helped to make our AGM a success.
Remarque: la langue officielle de l'Assemblée générale annuelle de l'IFC et du Symposium de l'Arctique sur la gestion et le commerce de la faune est l'anglais. Toutefois, certains documents sont disponibles en français sur demande.
The FIC Board of Directors, Executive
Committee and Committee Chairs for 2012-13 were elected at our 2012 Annual General Meeting in Iqaluit,
Nunavut, June 23.
David Hutton (Willow Stone Farm Inc.) was elected for a two-year term to continue in the role as Chairman following his interim period of Chair following the death of Bruce Williams in March, 2012.
Dion Dakins (Carino Processing Ltd.) was elected to the position of 1st Vice-Chair. Jim Gibb (Triple J. Wildlife Services) was elected to 2nd Vice-Chair. Randy Mersereau (New Brunswick Trappers and Fur Harvesters Federation) was re-elected to 3rd Vice-Chair. Howard Noseworthy (Fur Harvesters Auction) was elected to the position of Treasurer. Brian Roberts (NRJ Technical Services for Trade and Animal Welfare) was re-elected as Secretary.
Members elected to the Board of Directors for a three year term are:
All incumbent Operational Committee Chairs were re-elected to their positions by the Board of Directors:
The Fur Institute of Canada is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s awards, presented at their Annual General Meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut, on June 23, 2011.
The Lloyd Cook Award, which recognizes commitment to excellence in trapping, trapper education and public understanding of wildlife management, was given posthumously to Donald Currie. An active trapper, and Trapper Education Instructor with the Alberta Provincial Government for many years, Don Currie shared his in-depth knowledge about humane trapping techniques with students and other instructors. In the 1980s he helped develop a comprehensive manual for trapping courses. An excellent communicator, Don was an advocate for humane trapping methods and for trapping animals as a means of sustainable management.
The Bernard Cahill Memorial Award recognizes the promotion of respect for people, animals and the environment. This award is given posthumously to the late chairman of the Fur Institute of Canada, Bruce Williams. He served as chairman of the Fur Institute for twenty-five years, and served on the board of the International Fur Trade Federation for thirteen years. This award is presented to Bruce Williams for his unwavering support for humane trapping and continued scientific research and for playing a vital role in the successful adoption of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS). A trapper, angler, hunter and farmer, his contribution to the global fur trade and wildlife management community was immense.
The North American Furbearer Conservation Award was given to Serge Larivière for his dedicated involvement in activities which promote the sustainable use of furbearers. With a background in wildlife biology and a passion for trapping, Larivière’s involvement with trappers and trapping associations has spanned over a decade, working as a columnist, editor, and advisor to national organizations, including the Fur Institute of Canada. Recently, Larivière has been actively promoting the wise use and management of furbearers with First Nations of Quebec, as Director General of the Cree Hunters & Trappers Income Security Board.
The Fur Institute of Canada hosted an Arctic Symposium on Wildlife Management and Trade in conjunction with this year’s AGM. Nine dynamic speakers presented on issues concerning wildlife in the arctic.
Paul Irngaut, a wildlife advisor for Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, emphasized the importance of cooperation between various organizations in the north in order to face current and upcoming challenges such as climate change, and cultural change to coastal wildlife management.
Rebecca Jeppesen, who works for the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, explained the institute’s mandate to ensure the protection and wise use of wildlife in Nunavut using science and Inuit knowledge.
Markus Dyck is a polar bear biologist for the Government of Nunavut, and discussed sustainable management practices of this incredible species in his presentation.
Mitchell Taylor, a professor at Lakehead University, lectured on the polar bear, its recent population trends and climate change.
Brian Roberts, chair of the FIC International Relations and Conservation Committee, spoke about the history of international groups opposed to the harvesting of wildlife.
Serge Larivière is the Director General of the Cree Hunters & Trappers Income Security Board. He spoke about the challenges of hunting and trapping for a living.
Nikolas Sellheim, a PhD student, joined us from Finland. He presented on the negative effects of the EU anti-sealing policy.
Devin Imrie works for the Government of Nunavut as a sealing and fur advisor, and he presented on the decline of market demand for seal skins, and the importance of sealing to Inuit.
Ronald Doering is counsel to the lead Inuit organization plaintiff against the EU seal ban, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. ITK president Terry Audla opened his presentation.
FIC delegates joined Iqaluit locals for the 5th annual Celebration of the Seal on Friday, June 22. Many people in attendance wore unique sealskin garments. There were speeches from Conservative MP for Nunavut and Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Terry Audla, Minister of Environment James Arreak, and Executive Director of the FIC, Rob Cahill. To everyone’s delight, children from the Tumikuluit Saipaaqivik child care centre sang the Seal Hunting Song. After a demonstration of cutting up a seal, those in attendance had the opportunity to taste delicious seal meat, as well as other northern foods such as Arctic Char and Caribou.
Aaju Peter, C.M., this year’s keynote speaker
at the banquet, is one of the world’s foremost advocates for the rights of Canada’s northern indigenous people. The
following is a summary of her address.
Since the European ban our garbages have been full
This is a statement by Johanne Tobiassen from Nuuk, Greenland: “Our hunters and families are no longer able to earn an income on seal and sealskin products. Instead the skins are filling the garbages while our families are going hungry.”
Recently the United Nations Rapporteur for food security reported that “more than one third of house-holds in Nunavut suffer from severe food shortage”. In early June and leading up to the FIC AGM in Iqaluit, there were demonstrations held in Nunavut and Ottawa because of the high food prices in the Canadian arctic. This further confirms that the European Parliament Regulation to ban the import of seal products into Europe has had a devastating effect on Inuit all across the arctic. The European community does not appreciate the hardships they are causing Inuit on a piece of legislation that has no basis in fact, but which is based on propaganda by the anti-sealing groups. Their bellies are full while our people in the re- mote arctic communities are going hungry. This is totally unacceptable and unjust.
In the arctic, we don’t have the ability to grow vegetables or have farms to raise pigs, cows or chickens. We harvest what our nature provides for us - the seals, the polar bears, the caribou and arctic char. We eat the meat and we make clothes of the fur. We sell the leftover fur to make a bit of money. The bit of money that we can get for the fur and the products we can make from the sealskin makes a big difference. It helps the families to buy provisions and to buy gas and ammunition to catch game to feed the families in the arctic.
Some people in the United States and southern Canada were appalled at the number of families in Nunavut going hungry and were interested to know how they could help. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was put in place because of the concern for the harp seal population which was around 2 million forty years ago. Today the number exceeds 10 million. Some call this a ‘healthy’ population but according to traditional Inuit knowledge, over-population of a species is not ‘healthy’. It causes disease, hunger and hardship to the over-pop lated species. My response was that they could lift the forty-year MMPA so that we can again provide for our families by selling seal and sealskin products, and the Canadian Parliament could put as much money into promoting sealing as it is promoting mining. The Europeans can repeal their Regulation which will help our families to be more self sufficient, to maintain our culture and to continue our life which is based on respect for people, animals and the environment.