BELLE COTE — The hide of a white moose killed by hunters in the Cape Breton Highlands will be the centre of a four-day Mi'kmaq ceremony.
© Facebook photo
Hunters shot and killed a rare white moose in the Cape Breton Highlands recently, something that is upsetting the Mi'kmaq communities.
Bob Gloade, chief of the Millbrook First Nation near Truro, said the moose hide has been donated by the hunters who shot the animal last week in Belle Cote.
A ceremony will take place next Thursday at MacDonald Beach near Shearwater.
"It will involve a number of traditionalists, people from the Mi'kmaq community, also the hunter and also the individuals from the hunters' outfitters store," said Gloade. "The hide is being prepared now for the ceremony."
Members of Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq community complained after seeing a photo of the dead moose posted on the Facebook page of Hnatiuk's Hunting & Fishing Ltd., which is located in Lantz, N.S.
The Facebook page states that the animal was killed by three hunters from Hatchet Lake, N.S.
"From my understanding it was a lack of knowing," said Gloade as to why the hunters shot the animal. "They didn't know."
In Mi'kmaq culture, rare white animals such as a white moose or white porcupine, are considered spirit animals and are therefore sacred.
While the province's Department of Natural Resources acknowledges the importance of white moose to the Mi'kmaq, it is not illegal to hunt one.
Gloade said the Mi'kmaq community is using this time to educate people on the spiritual significance of the white moose so that harvesters will avoid killing these types of animals in the future.