The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve lands on Sidney Spit will be closed to the public this winter to allow for deer hunting by local First Nations people. This annual closure lasts from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023. 

Since 2005, Parks Canada has closed public access to Sidney Spit for traditional hunting. This public closure extends to all of the national park reserve land during this period. Parks Canada has created a hunting schedule to increase safety, avoid conflict with volunteer events, and reduce the occurrence of multiple parties hunting simultaneously. To schedule your activity please contact Ben Tooby, Hunt Coordinator and Safety Officer at ben.tooby@pc.gc.ca or 250-507-6653

Parks Canada staff will continue working on-site during this closure. For safety and clarity when they are working, Parks Canada staff will raise an orange flag at one of the Sidney Island docks and also set up a sandwich board at the Hook Spit, Main Dock, and Transport Dock (weather conditions dependent). Hunters are encouraged to raise an orange flag at one of the docks when at Sidney Spit. If hunters observe a raised flag and/or a sandwich board at Sidney Island, they are encouraged to call Ben Tooby or Parks Dispatch (1-877-852-3100).

This closure presents a great benefit for WLC’s mandate of promoting respect for W̱SÁNEĆ rights and culture and of building a working relationship with Parks Canada. It will allow for the pursuit of hunting and training for these traditional skills. Access to W̱SÁNEĆ hunting territory in the Gulf Islands is important for the ability to exercise the right to hunt and fish as formerly.

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