At a public meeting on Wednesday, tribal members from around the country spoke out against the decision by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to hold a fall grizzly bear hunt. Blackfeet member Tom Rogers is with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. He said the federal government is required by law to consult tribes on natural resource issues that affect them, like a grizzly bear hunt.
“The tribes might have been listened to, but they haven’t been heard,” he said. “And I think we’re past the day and age where we’re actually going to do trophy hunting for grizzlies?”
In a treaty signed by more than 200 U.S. and Canadian tribes, tribal leaders proposed relocating bears onto reservation lands instead of allowing a trophy hunting season.
Rogers said the grizzly bear is iconic to his tribe.
“The simple acknowledgment that we’re a sovereign people and that this is important to us. Do you need to take it all? The land, the water, the air, our children, our language, the animal that we worship? What else do you need?”
Rogers said he considers trophy hunting morally wrong and that his organization is preparing a lawsuit to stop Wyoming’s grizzly bear hunt.