Hunters spark outrage by killing white ‘spirit moose’

ku-bigpicGrind TV – by Pete Thomas

Three hunters were within their rights when they killed a rare albino moose last week in the Nova Scotia wilderness.

But since then they’ve been widely criticized on social media sites, and their action has outraged the indigenous Mi’kmaq people, who regard white creatures as “spirit animals” and believe that killing them brings bad luck.  

Danny Paul, a Mi’kmaq hunter, told CBC that aboriginal people have known about the spirit moose for years.


Spirit moose illustration

“We know the significance and we’ve been teaching that to the non-native population for almost 500 years—about the importance that this and other white animals played in our lives,” he said. “We are not to harm them in any way, shape, or form because they could be one of our ancestors coming to remind us of something significant that’s going to happen within our communities.

“It was so disrespectful having seen it put on the social media, and it’s been an outcry and our people are outraged.”

A Department of Natural Resources biologist said that based on the photographs, the moose probably was a partial albino.


The hunters, whose names have not been publicized, have apologized, saying they did not know the animal was sacred. They have agreed to deliver the hide for a traditional Mi’kmaq ceremony.

The hunters brought the hide to Hnatiuk’s Hunting & Fishing Ltd., a hunting and taxidermy business in the Nova Scotia town of Lantz.

Hnatiuk’s has served as a sort of middleman and has used its Facebook page to speak on behalf of the hunters and the Mi’kmaq.

In a post that included the accompanying illustration of a spirit moose, Jim Hnatiuk stated:

“The hunters have shared that they regret, that unknowingly they caused this to happen. Some may not accept that, but it doesn’t change what is true.

“These are good men and they broke no law, and they have expressed that it would have been nice to have known more about the significance of these white moose. Hopefully through this, many are much more informed and, this provides the catalyst for more to be done.”

In a separate post, Mi’kmaq Chief Bob Cloade wrote: “First of all I would like to thank all those who have come forth to bringing closure to the hunt of the Sacred animal. The Hyde is being prepared to begin a four-day ceremony once it is ready…

“I have full cooperation from the Hunters, Hnatiuk’s Hunting & Fishing, DNR etc. The next step is to bring a peaceful closure and honor the Spirit of the Sacred Moose.”

The white moose was killed near Belle Cote, Nova Scotia.

–Find Pete Thomas on Facebook and Twitter

5 thoughts on “Hunters spark outrage by killing white ‘spirit moose’

  1. MMmmmm,.. mm,…

    White Moose!!!,…. the other, other white meat!!!

    It’s whats for dinner!!!!

    Hmmmm,…. taste a lot like,……………… chicken.

    JD – US Marines – The only one this was bad luck for,.. was the moose!

  2. They didn’t need to shoot that moose, there were others around.

    I’ve passed on shooting majestic looking 12 point bucks in the past, since I have a respect for Nature.

    1. Agreed. I doubt these hunters didn’t know the spiritual importance of the animal to the locals – they would have been told by outfitters and/or the locals. It comes across as big boy bullying and trashing of local cultural beliefs.


      “’A moose like that represents the highest quality of a Native person,” said Emmett Peters, a Mi’kmaq Elder who lives in Afton, Nova Scotia, though is originally from Prince Edward Island. ‘Every time I see something like that [moose] it reminds me of integrity, courage, everything great in a leader.’

      “When hard times are coming, these white-spirited animals will appear. Peters was quick to mention the dispute taking place in New Brunswick over shale gas testing between indigenous people, the provincial government and SWN Resources Canada, the oil and gas company that is conducting the tests. The dispute has been intensifying since early summer, with a group called the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society blockading Route 134 near Rexton, in Kent Country, New Brunswick.”

      There’s also this report:
      “First Nation Moves to Evict Fracking Co. from Lands Held in Trust”

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