Bear Witness: A Film by BC’s Coastal First Nations

In May 2013, trophy hunters shot and killed a five-year-old grizzly bear in BC’s Kwatna estuary — an ancient First Nations village site midway between the central coast communities of Bella Bella and Bella Coola. The bear, nicknamed ‘Cheeky’ by local field technicians, was skinned and left to rot in a field. His head and paws were carried out past a sign declaring trophy hunting closed in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Cheeky the bear may have died the same way as 100 other bears every year in the Great Bear Rainforest. The difference is, this time there was a witness.

Coastal First Nations is an alliance of Wuikinuxv, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nuxalk, Gitga’at, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and the Council of the Haida Nation, working together to create a sustainable economy on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. In September 2012, CFN announced a ban on trophy hunting for bears in the territories of all nine member nations.

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