FREDERICTON (GNB) – An agreement between the Passamaquoddy people and the provincial government will result in a special moose harvest this year during the month of November.

“In the spirit of peace and friendship, and in keeping with the existing relationship between the Passamaquoddy and the Crown, we are facilitating this moose hunt,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs.

The Passamaquoddy people are signatories to the Peace and Friendship Treaties in New Brunswick.

Melanson and Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet signed an agreement with Sakom (chief) Hugh Akagi and the Peskotomuhkati Nation at Skutik, which began formal negotiations with the federal government in July.

“In consideration of the commitment we all share towards conservation, and as New Brunswick’s 2017 moose hunt took place without participation by the Peskotomuhkati, or Passamaquoddy, we have agreed that their community’s needs for this year could be met by harvesting seven moose,” said Doucet.

Following the moose hunt, which takes place Nov. 1-30 in wildlife management zones 15 and 20, information about the harvest will be shared to help inform population models.

“We will exercise this treaty right respectful of the best principles of conservation in preserving a healthy moose population throughout our territory,” said Akagi. “We welcome the opportunity to exercise our traditional rights and responsibilities, which are so critical to our continued experience as a people. Communal harvesting has been a defining characteristic of the Peskotomuhkati people, contributing to a healthy existence for thousands of years.”

For conservation purposes, hunters are asked to divide their harvest between the two zones as evenly as possible.