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Unlawful hunting conviction overturned for Indigenous man

A file photo of a bull moose. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has overturned an unlawful hunting conviction against an Indigenous man. Dianne Mursell / Getty Images

A Manitoba hunter who was found guilty of unlawful hunting on private land in Saskatchewan had his conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Kristjan Pierone, a Treaty 5 First Nations man, was charged after shooting a bull moose in a slough near Swift Current in September 2015.

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Pierone had not been given consent to hunt on the land, which is Treaty 4 territory, and argued no signs were posted and it appeared the land had not been cultivated in years.

A prosecutor argued Pierone did not have a right to hunt on Treaty 4 land.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal said in an April 27 ruling the Crown had failed to prove the land was in use, or incompatible for hunting.

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The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) said the ruling affirms their inherent rights to hunt.

“This decision affirms that the First Nations have a prior right of access to the wildlife of the province as part of our inherent and treaty rights,” FSIN vice-chief Heather Bear said in a statement.

“This is an important issue and we will follow up with Minister of Environment.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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