Protesters Say They “sincerely regret that comments were posted on NAfA’s (Niagara Action for Animal’s) Facebook page that were perceived to be hateful, threatening and/or discriminatory in any way, and that these comments were not immediately called out.”
A Statement from Niagara Action for Animals (NAfA) and Short Hills Wildlife Alliance (SHWA)
Posted November 8th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –
Niagara Action for Animals (NAfA) and the Short Hills Wildlife Alliance (SHWA) issued the following statement this November 7th, a day after reports appeared in Niagara daily newspapers about vile words and comments appearing on NAfA’s Facebook page.
The ugly words were aimed at members of the Indigenous community who, with the blessing now of two Ontario governments (the former Liberals and now Doug Ford’s Conservatives) exercise their Aboriginal Treaty rights each year around this time to hunt deer for a few days in Short Hills Provincial Park in Niagara.
The Indigenous deer hunt in the park has repeatedly been met with animal activist groups and some of the residents living around the park holding protest demonstrations at park entrances.
The offensive comments on NAfA’s Facebook page, which have recently been taken down by the group, including some supporters of the protests calling the Indigenous hunters “drunks” and “barbarians,” and saying that rather than the deer, they are the ones who should be “harvested.”
The language was condemned as inexcusable and sickening by members of the Indigenous community and by some of Niagara’s elected representatives, including St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. Niagara At Large posted its own condemnation of these hateful words this November 7th on this site.
Here is the full statement from NAfA and SHWA responding to these expressions of disappointment and outrage over what appeared on the Facebook page.
Niagara At Large emailed a copy of this statement to a representative of the Indigenous community for a response but did not yet hear back at the time of this posting. We will post a response from the community if and when we receive one.
Meanwhile, here it is for you to read and you are free to share your response in the comment space at the bottom of this post –
Niagara Action for Animals (NAfA) and Short Hills Wildlife Alliance (SHWA) acknowledge that the Indigenous peoples of Canada have historically suffered discrimination, abuse and mistreatment at the hands of individuals, governments, religious institutions and more, and that they continue to deal with these issues today.
NAfA and SHWA do not encourage, condone, support or solicit discriminatory or abusive attitudes, comments or actions towards Indigenous peoples, under any circumstance.
NAfA and SHWA sincerely regret that comments were posted on NAfA’s Facebook page that were perceived to be hateful, threatening and/or discriminatory in any way, and that these comments were not immediately called out.
These comments do not represent the position of NAfA or SHWA.
Moving forward, steps are being taken to ensure that this type of language is not perpetuated in the future.
For 50 years, Short Hills Provincial Park was a place of peace, conservation, harmony and sanctuary for its animal inhabitants.
NAfA’s mission is to educate the public about the issues surrounding the abuse, exploitation, mistreatment, or killing of animals for entertainment, clothing, food, sport, or research.
SHWA’s mission is to protect the sanctity and safety of Short Hills Park, promote peaceful coexistence with wildlife, and act as a strong voice for the land, its inhabitants, and visitors within the park.
Therefore, both NAfA’s and SHWA’s objections to hunting in Short Hills Provincial Park has always been about the suffering and death of the deer, not who the hunters are.
NAfA and SHWA would, and do, have the same objection to hunting done by non-Indigenous people. NAfA and SHWA will always stand against the abuse, exploitation and killing of animals.
Niagara Action for Animals (NAfA) or is a non-profit, all volunteer charity devoted to ending all forms of animal cruelty through education, direct action and legitimate protest.
For more information on NAfA and its animal advocacy work, click on – https://niagaraactionforanimals.org/
To read a commentary written by Doug Draper and posted on Niagara At Large this November 7th on this matter, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2019/11/07/racist-words-disgrace-short-hills-deer-hunt-protesters-and-their-cause/ .
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