Indigenous hunting traditions paying dividends in Canada

In the northern state of Nova Scotia in Canada. For one man, identity is less about politics and a piece of paper, and more about a way of life. Richard McKinnon has learned traditional Mi'kmaq crafts to make the baskets and tools he uses as a trapper.

It's a rare day that you'll find Richard McKinnon lazing around at home.

He spends much of his time in the acreage behind his house.

“I spend about 5-8 hours a day here, 5 days a week.” Says Richard.

Richard hunts deer and traps various animals, their furs bringing in a few thousand dollars each year, but money isn't why he does what he does.

“It's like a game to me. I also like hunting animals for food.”

McKinnon has Mi'kmaq ancestry, and ties to the local Métis Association. He grew up not far from a Mi'kmaq family, from where his cultural knowledge came from.

The list of things Richard makes from scratch is long. Baskets and handicrafts are stacked in every corner of his basement. It took two years to learn how to make these nets that can be bought at the store.

He admits that indeed he will “try and avoid modern implements.”

Richard shows off his work at schools and different events, but for the most part, his wealth of knowledge on cultural crafts and living off the land is untapped.

Anyone wanting to find him had better strap on their snow shoes.

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