Rematriation of the remains of Cheeky, the grizzly bear

The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance and Raincoast Conservation Foundation successfully obtained a recommendation from the provincial court that the remains of Cheeky, the grizzly bear, be returned to the Kwatna, to be addressed in accordance with traditional laws.

The grizzly bear was illegally shot by hockey player Clayton Stoner, who kept as trophies certain parts of the bear. Mr. Stoner pleaded guilty to breaches under the Wildlife Act. He agreed to pay a $4,000 fine and a $6,000 contribution to the Habitat Conservation Foundation Trust. He also agreed to a three-year hunting prohibition and an order of forfeiture of the bear’s remains to the province’s conservation service. The province’s conservation service has committed to cooperating with the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Association to return the bear’s remains to the Kwatna area which is part of the Great Bear Rainforest.

The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance is made up of four First Nations, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo Xai’Xais, Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv. These Nations work together to ensure that their ecosystems are turned to a healthy balance in a manner that respects their cultures, advances their people’s well-being, and enhances their economies. Trophy hunting of bears violates traditional stewardship laws, and securing the return of the remains is part of these Nations fulfilling their roles as stewards of the ecosystem.

Lisa C. Fong and Brock Martland were proud to assist the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance and Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Lisa C Fong and Michael Ng