Thanks to the hard work of our employees and the collaboration of our many partners, we have successfully implemented many different programs, ranging from the training of Crees for skilled jobs with Hydro-Quebec (over 50 Crees now occupy permanent positions), the rejuvenation of Cree community and family fisheries, the support of numerous cultural activities including summer gatherings and the enhancement of goose hunting facilities. This is not to mention the hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile and ATV trails already built throughout Eeyou Istchee.
On its 20th anniversary, Niskamoon Corporation salutes The Nation magazine and wishes it many more years of success and positive change.
Goose au gaz, anyone?
After many years of fruitless and dry spring and fall goose hunts (unless of course, you were in a prime area), it gets my gall that many of the geese that don’t fly up here to get shot at, will be destroyed and exterminated like pests. What may be one of the worst man-made “natural” disasters is about to happen. In New York, over 100,000 Canada Geese will be laid to rest simply because they have become public nuisances and, most likely, labeled as health hazards. What can one do about that?
First of all, a humane method will be used, namely an odourless gas that will quietly put them to sleep, the same gas that you have to worry about in a closed-off room with no ventilation – yes, carbon dioxide. If this stuff affects you during your sleep, there is a strong chance that you will stay in dreamland and then get shipped off to either heaven or hell, without ever saying goodbye to your loved ones. It is this method that will be used to kill of those pesky geese.
What can one do? Well, first of all, if we were given the chance, we could have one big shoot-‘em-up before the culling of the flocks got under way. Let’s see now, shooting 100,000 geese may seem like fun, but who would do all the plucking? Are there enough people around to process the geese? Are there enough people to eat them all? How many pillows can you get out of that? These questions will no doubt go unanswered.
If you look at other birds of a feather, you will see that some do serve mankind. Take the lowly crow and raven, and seagulls to boot. It is illegal to kill a seagull, because it is an essential part of keeping the environment clean by picking up and ingesting garbage. Can a goose do that?
The crane, with its mighty bill, eats frogs and whatnot, and it is considered to be a valuable bird to those in the south. But up here, not too many people pick on them to eat. So can a goose get sanctioned and public protection like the crane?
How about the duck? Ducks have their own club and members are often seen flying around in little planes over the habitats counting the unlimited duck population, which paradoxically is declining in number.
Will a goose ever get the same recognition other than being named after our country. Perhaps if it were called the American Goose, we would be the ones doing the gassing north of the border.
Has the goose become a permanent fixture in parks and waterways of cities? Will the goose ever get the recognition it deserves in Parliament to become a national symbol and stay protected like the American Bald Eagle? Who says that having something like the long-gun registry getting continued support isn’t making our lives a little tougher to go out and get some prime goose.
Perhaps, one day, we will have to resort to other methods of harvesting geese. One way, which I deem to be the most humane, is to spike corn with alcohol and just go pick the passed-out geese every morning and chop off their heads. Their flesh would be so soft and of course, automatically tenderized and preserved to boot.
Whichever way, it has been deemed that the once mighty goose, a symbol of Canada and a staple food for many First Nations peoples, gets the wrong side of the boot and we can’t do much about that because it is happening in another country. I just hope that one day, the geese will return to their ancient flying patterns and learn that living in the south where the hunters don’t come out as much as they do up here just doesn’t pay off, because they’ll just get killed off anyways.