Penticton Indian Band opposed to bighorn sheep harvest

PIB oppose sheep harvest

The Penticton Indian Band is opposing the issuance of hunting tags for California bighorn sheep residing on Syilx land. 

California bighorn sheep are considered an at-risk species, and face many threats including disease, forest development, housing development and grazing competition. 

“The issuance of hunting licenses without our community’s free, prior and informed consent has been an ongoing issue for many years,” said PIB chief Greg Gabriel.

“This is unacceptable; the Penticton Indian Band must be meaningfully and appropriately engaged regarding any and all decisions pertaining to the harvest of our tmixw within our unceded Territorial lands.”

PIB natural resource department director James Pepper says it is the right and responsibility of the snpink'tn people to "take care of their tmixw (ecology) relatives including yilíkwlxkn (male bighorn sheep) and scmí?c?a? (female bighorn sheep)."

“Penticton Indian Band Elders and Knowledge Keepers have clearly stated that local bighorn sheep populations are not resilient enough to support provincially targeted harvest. The Penticton Indian Band, syilx Nation, does not approve or consent to the issuance of provincial hunting licenses that target bighorn sheep populations.”

It's not the first time the Penticton Indian Band has undertaken measures to protect local bighorn sheep populations, says Pepper. 

In 2016, the Band implemented a multi-year, collaborative program to eradicate the presence of Psoroptes ovis, a disease that was causing significant population declines. 

“We have also completed forest enhancement programs designed to increase and improve habitat for bighorn sheep. These projects have had much success, but local sheep populations are still challenged and in need of support."

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