American Indians push bill to end Nevada bear hunt (Video)

As part of Tribal Day at the Nevada Legislature, Native Americans are letting lawmakers know they are against the bear hunt.

Dozens showed up at the legislative building in support of Senate Bill 82.

They say the bear is sacred and that the hunt violates their rights.

Burning sage for cleansing and protection, the group performed a Round Dance.

"It's a language of the heart," Miwok Tribe member Razzle Dazzle said. "It's a prayer. What it is is a vision. Many people got these songs, before, in visions."

If approved, the bill would put an end to the hunting of black bears in Nevada.

Raquel Arthur is the president of the American Indian Movement of Northern Nevada.

She says they will continue to fight, regardless of the outcome.

"It's important because Native Americans do not want the bears killed, based on ceremonies and the bear being sacred to us Native Americans," Arthur said.

"The bear is, to a lot of people, is courage," Razzle Dazzle said. "But if you understand spirituality, sometimes that bear kind of guides you."

They say the hunt also raises safety concerns for Nevada tribes.

From left, Martin Cueva, Ocelotl Ortiz and Pete Casillas Jr. perform a Round Dance in front of the Legislative Building in Carson City on Monday. The rally was held in support of a bill that would prevent hunting of black bears in Nevada.
The hunt happens when many are gathering pine nuts in some of the hunting areas.

Nevada has had a legal bear hunt for the last two years.

Chris Healy is with the Department of Wildlife and says the hunt was allowed after studies showed the bear population was large enough.

"We will get asked that question, periodically, as we do with every game animal," Healy said. "Can it sustain a hunt and the answer is yes. The population can sustain a bear hunt."

20 bears can be killed each season.

A total of 25 have been taken in the first two years.

Only one of those had previously been handled by NDOW.

"That actually tells us that we probably have more bears than we thought, at the beginning of this process," Healy said. "So, we stand open to answer any questions that the legislature may have."

Raquel Arthur, president of the Northern Nevada chapter of the American Indian Movement, speaks against bear hunting during the public comment period of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners meeting at the Nevada Department of Wildlife in Reno on March 23, 2012. / Andy Barron/RGJ file 

The bill will be discussed in the Natural Resources Committee in the months ahead.
Senators say they will listen to all sides of the argument.

"I think you've got to weigh them equally," Senator James Settelmeyer said. "We have to figure out if there are too many numbers of bears out there or not. You have to look at that type of data because, like any natural resource, we need to manage it."

Written by Paul Nelson Source

KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Responses to "Tribes Show Support Of Banning Bear Hunts"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Start scalping hunters again....that ought to get the message across.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We are the land of plenty. Hunting is something that should not be done any longer.. We are the servants of this land and we should be taking care of this land and nature better by now. Please Ban This Bear Hunting...Please.

  3. Anonymous says:

    WE Should Respect Native Americans Religious Beliefs & Visions, As We Expect Others To Respect Ours.They Have Been Here Since The Beginning, Until We Intruded On There Lands!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    no hunting? stupid. no return to old ways with that false morality

  5. Mary says:

    I agree, no more hunting these great creatures also no more killing the wild Horses..

  6. Let's stop it right Now!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey now that's an idea!!! :) maybe the would think twice then huh??? I agree with the Native Americans, we Need to Leave the BEARS ALONE

  8. Anna says:

    We need to leave all wild animals alone ! They have survived without us for I don`t know how long. Just respect them how you want to be respected and left alone. You wouldn`t like it as humans to be controlled by other humans. Just imagine what would happen if someone marches into your house and decides that you have too many children and shoots them (how would we as humans like that) ?

  9. Anonymous says:

    The bear is my Spirit animal , I will protect them with my life .

  10. Teena Raven Snow says:

    This Man talking about the Numbers of The Black Bears, they are just trying to Justify the murder of The sacred Bears, I have seen this in My Dreams, The Black Bears were in the forest all standing behind me, I was trying to protect them from something that I could not see. Now I know why I had this dream. All of Life is Sacred and The Black Bears have a right to exist. How much more killing of Sacred Relations do they need to make room for more people ? Highways ? Strip malls ? what????? I do not understand their crazy thinking. This is a Very Sad thing.

  11. Unknown says:

    Stop the killing of these Bears!!! It is natural for Wildlife to die when they age, Not to be Killed and Used for Rugs and their Meat. Please remember in the Future there will be None left for to teach our Children of Bears, their habitats , We are among them, We all need to Respect these Animals and Respect the Native American Indians for they do not hunt these Animals.. So No one else should either...If you want to Kill Join the Military Help Save Our Country..

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am decended from the Ute tribe and we believe the bear is a sacred protector and peace keeper. I will join the circle of prayer for our (Bears in Nevada.) My new grandson, 5 months old, just got a little brown stuffed toy bear from me for Valentines day and whenever he sees it he starts to giggle and hugs it. His native spirit carries on.......IDLE NO MORE.

  13. I'am a descendant of The Cherokee Indian on my mothers side and a descendant of the Taino Indian on my father side. When I was small to now I always had an instinct with animals. Wild and Domesticated Animals will always come to me and sit by my side. The White man always took from the Natives, stealing, hurting and pillaging. Raping the land of the resources. Poisoning the air we breathe and the water we drink. Hunting should be banned point blank. So many species are either in books never to be seen again or in museums of natural cultures to be seen as they once was. It will be a sad day on Earth if one day all animals disappeared at once, then what will we do. First the WILD, then Conservation Parks then Zoo's. If an animal can't be safe what then.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear fellow natives just stop!i don't agree on laughering beautiful creature just because like they do wolves or bison. It's wrong. But it's bad enough in CA we can't use our dogs to hunt bears or cat. Now you want to tke away hunting all long as its not wasted let them, as long as its not just killing or a trophy let them. My dogs need a job, an they love it. An we don't waste it. I love animals beyond beliefe, but there is a balance. Natives used to hunt what the hell are they going vegetarian now lol

  15. Inez says:

    I think the point is that the bear is sacred to the Native people and I reckon the issue is about respect and compassion for their values and especially to our 4 legged brothers and sisters who cannot speak for themselves. Isn't it enough that the white settlers stole the Native land! There seems to be no end to their territorial and possessive behaviours solely focused on profit and power. It's because of the white man that our Earth is so wounded and sick and if we'd taken heed from our Native Family who are in sync with the Earth we could've avoided such violation. I support both the protection of animals and people!

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