Sturgeon Falls, Ontario
I am a full-time trapper and I harvest furs and live bait. I’ve been trapping for over forty years.
Trapping for me is a family tradition. My father was a trapper and so are three of my brothers. I’ve trained my sons to become trappers. I am part Algonquin – I’m a Metis. Trapping for my family is part of our lives, it’s a heritage and a tradition. We would do it even if there is no money for the furs. We’d go out there and harvest for the meat.
We are stewards of the land. We’re out there every day. We see a lot of wildlife. We observe changes. We want people to understand that we care about nature. And we want people to understand that when we go out there to do our job, we are also concerned about the future.
We do harvest wildlife but when we harvest we play an important role in managing both the animals and their habitat. We are careful about how many beavers we take, for instance, because we need the ponds and wetlands they create for other species such as waterfowl and moose. So, as a trapper, I have a lot to do in controlling that by removing only a certain number of beavers in one area.
When I talk to people, I talk about the wildlife and the wild habitat. I’ll never forget this. I was doing a film with CBC’s ‘This Land’ and I kept saying to these people, “This next place we are going, you are going to love this place, you’re going to love it because it is so beautiful. “They were amazed by what they saw. At that time, I had been trapping for about thirty-five years and they said, “Alcide, do you still find this place as nice?” I said, “It is as nice and it will be this nice until man changes it.”