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As the nineteenth century ended, Ontario wildlife became increasingly valuable. Tourists and sport hunters spent growing amounts of money in their search for game, and the government began to extend and exert its regulatory powers in this arena.
Who Controls the Hunt? examines how Ontario's emerging wildlife conservation laws reconciled – or failed to reconcile – First Nations treaty rights and the power of the state. David Calverley traces the political and legal arguments prompted by the interplay of treaty rights, provincial and dominion government interests, and the corporate concerns of the Hudson's Bay Company. As the Ontario government imposed new restrictions on hunting and trapping, it developed an at times contentious relationship with the Department of Indian Affairs. And it completely ignored the Ojibwa hunting rights set out in the Robinson Treaties of 1850.
Indigenous resource use remains a politically and legally significant topic in Canada. Some aspects of First Nations hunting rights have been settled, but questions about species conservation and environmental protection continue to arise. While Who Controls the Hunt? has a regional focus, this nuanced examination of the resource issues at stake, the constitutional questions, the impact of conservation paradigms, and historical factors particular to First Nations has national relevance.
Who Controls the Hunt? will find an audience among scholars, students, and lawyers with an interest in Canadian Indigenous history, Canadian law, Indigenous policy, and environmental history.
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David Calverley received his PhD from the University of Ottawa. He has been teaching history in Toronto since 2002. He has published and continues to research in the area of hunting and treaty rights and the Aboriginal treaties of Ontario.
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