The Captains of the Hunt (COTH) play an integral role in the management of Métis harvesting rights. One COTH is assigned to each of the Traditional Harvest Territories within Ontario, and is mandated by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) to have full authority over the Métis harvest in their respective region.
The COTH’s act as a direct line of communication between Harvesters, the MNO and the MNR. They help manage the annual harvest in conjunction with the province of Ontario, support the implementation of the Interim Harvesting Policy, and determine the appropriate management of the harvest in their respective regions. COTH’s also act as the liaison between harvesters and the MNO in situations where charges have been filed.
The duties of the COTH include:
- Travelling throughout their region and MNO communities therein to work with Councils on Harvester’s Certificates issues;
- Assisting Harvesters in the completion of applications for Harvester’s Certificates;
- Reviewing and signing Harvester applications prior to sending them to the MNO’s Registry Branch for processing and final approval;
- Verifying that Harvesters can properly and safely employ firearms;
- Answering inquiries from Métis citizens regarding harvesting rights and criteria surrounding harvesting;
- Investigating complaints and charges and acting as a liaison between the MNO and Harvesters;
- Acting as the point of contact for MNR Field Officers in their region;
- Preparing incident reports;
- Ensuring Harvester’s are in compliance with the MNO Harvesting Policy;
- Participating in the MNO/MNR Working Table as a source of on the ground information; and,
- Acting as a source of information on the Métis Way of Life Framework and Traditional Knowledge
The Captains of the Hunt also support the Annual Harvester’s Survey and help to gather information on the number, species, and location of animals taken by MNO Harvester’s Certificate Holders.