Jim Bourque Award – Garry Breitkreuz
The 2015 Jim Bourque Award was given to Garry Breitkreuz in recognition of his commitment to sustainable use of wildlife resources, improved animal welfare and development of Canada’s modern fur trade. Garry was recruited to run as a federal candidate for the Reform Party of Canada and was first elected to the House of Commons in October 1993, for the federal constituency of Yorkton-Melville in eastern Saskatchewan. He has been subsequently re-elected by the citizens of Yorkton-Melville in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011. Better known by parliamentarians as the “gun guy”, Garry is recognized both nationally and internationally for his extensive work and expertise on the Canadian gun registry file. In 2006, Garry founded the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus – a non-partisan group of Members of Parliament and Senators whose task it is to help protect the Canadian heritage of hunting, fishing, sport shooting and trapping in Canadian law. In February 2015, Garry introduced a Private Members Bill, C-655 that seeks to amend the Criminal Code by making it a federal criminal offence for anyone who intentionally interferes with lawful hunting, fishing, trapping and sport shooting. Harassment has become an increasing concern and the bill is being well received by those in the outdoor community.
North American Furbearer Conservation Award – Dr. Milton Freeman
The 2015 North American Furbearer Conservation Award was presented to Dr. Milton Freeman for his promotion and contributions to sustainable furbearer management. Milton is an ecologist whose research has focused on documenting local hunters’ and fishers’ environmental ethics, knowledge, and practices in order to contribute to sustainable renewable-resources management and conservation practices. Milton has been a member of a number of IUCN Ecology and Sustainable Use commissions and working groups and has chaired the UNESCO-MAB Northern Science Network, an International Whaling Commission expert panel on aboriginal whaling, and an International Arctic Science Committee Working Group on Sustainable Use. He has attended a number of CITES meetings as an IWMC (International Wildlife Management Consortium) delegate. Before retiring in 2009, Milton was project director of an international multidisciplinary study of polar bear conservation hunting that was based at the Canadian Circumpolar Institute in Edmonton.
Neal Jotham Award: Saskatchewan Trappers Association
The annual award recognizes exceptional contributions by an individual and/or organization to the advancement of animal welfare. During the 2014 AGM, the creation of the “Neal Jotham Award for the Advancement of Animal Welfare” was announced in recognition of Neal’s unparalleled contribution to improved animal welfare. The 2015 Neal Jotham Award was presented to the Saskatchewan Trappers Association. The Saskatchewan Trappers Association continues to deliver trapper education for first time trappers across the province, public awareness at trade shows and provincial parks. It is of utmost importance to show the current and modern methods of the fur industry. Over the past year approximately 270 individuals attended trapper education courses. We have provided nine (9) provincial parks with presentations which may involve more than one day presentations.
Lloyd Cook – Wayne Sharpe
The 2015 Lloyd Cook Award, which recognizes commitment to excellence in trapping, trapper education and public understanding of wildlife management, was awarded to Wayne Sharpe. Wayne Sharpe and his wife Marlene have represented North American Fur Auctions as receiving agents for almost thirty years. During this time Wayne has handled thousands of pelts, of various qualities and offered his expertise to trappers on improving their techniques. Wayne’s impromptu fur handling clinics on Ongman Road were not uncommon. His awards for fur handling are numerous and demonstrate the pride he takes in his profession. His devotion to trapper education has helped improve the quality of fur in British Columbia and raised the profile of the BCTA (British Columbia Trappers Association) to one of the most progressive trapper associations in Canada. It is rare to find a trapper in British Columbia who has not heard of Wayne Sharpe.
Bernard Cahill – David Hutton
There is no man who has given so unselfishly for the people and the values of the sustainable use community.
Over his career as a public servant with the Federal Government and now as a volunteer of the board to the FIC, this person has donated countless hours to protect the rights of people to use their resources responsibly. Through good and bad times he had remained a positive leader, selflessly giving of his time to ensure that we have a brighter future. Where the people are respected – equally – regardless of cultural origin or ethnicity.
In this time with civil-service he worked to ensure that the AIHTS was implemented and maintained to protect the rights of trappers to earn income in Global markets. To ensure animals are treated with respect. On his recent work in advancing the seal file internationally he has remained unbiased and without direct financial stake in the present or future trade has worked to unite the efforts of Inuit in Greenland and Canada and francophone and anglophone sealing industry players in Canada.
This man also donates his time to improving mental health in Canada. Tearing down stigmas to improve the lives and treatment of those who suffer with mental illnesses.
In memory of Bernard Cahill we present this award to David Hutton.