Senior Western Correspondent Lance Stapleton, who checked into the situation for us, told us hunters need to know that the problem is limited to the Shefferville area. Outfitters in the Caniaspiscau (central) area and LG4 in the Hudson's Bay (western) area were not affected. Unfortunately, a prominent online news service muddied the water on this by suggesting that all Quebec/Labrador caribou were affected. That is not true.
The cause of the protest, according to the Federation of Quebec Outfitters and the Schefferville Outfitters Association, is the emergence of some illegal outfitters in the Schefferville area. Seems some fly-by-nights have been renting cabins to outsiders in Zone 24, a relatively small parcel of land near Schefferville established for resident caribou hunting. Apparently, there have been some recent fluctuations in the numbers of caribou there, and that has made hunting more difficult for natives. They believe the illegal hunting has caused a shift in historical caribou migration routes.
Their allegations are supported by Andre Threlfall, President of the Outfitter's Association, who says that the Association has tried for years to prevent these illegal hunting operations. He agrees they should be removed. The unfortunate fallout from the confrontation is that a number of legal outfitters and their clients are being negatively impacted by the Innu tribe's actions. The financial burden on some outfitters is sure to be great, as outfitters tend to use hunt deposits to purchase fuel and provisions in advance of........(continued)