Trapper mentorship program launches in the NWT

Last modified: November 10, 2022 at 10:35am


A trapper mentorship program has launched in the NWT, with a goal to help beginner trappers gain traditional life skills and knowledge from skilled trappers they have partnered with.

New trappers accepted into the program will receive a “starter kit” of trapping equipment worth around $1,500, while experienced trappers will receive a one-time payment of $2,000 for mentoring a next-generation trapper. 

Eligible activities mentors can teach include winter travel and setting up winter camps, sharing traditional knowledge and storytelling, hunting, cutting wood, setting nets, skinning and fleshing, and treating hides and furs.

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To participate in the program, beginner trappers must fill out an application form and secure a letter of support from an organization – such as a hunting and trapping committee, Indigenous government, or renewable resources committee – which will agree to distribute the funding to the mentor on behalf of the territorial government. The beginner trappers are also responsible for finding a skilled trapper to mentor them throughout the winter and share with them knowledge and experience.

“Priority will be given to mentees with limited trapping experience and mentors with extensive trapping experience, including significant time on-the-land,” said the GNWT.

“Program funding will support activities that engage participants in meaningful and transformative outdoor learning experiences with a focus on northern traditional trapline values and practices.”

To apply, people must be NWT residents over 18 years old and have an land claim right to harvest and either hold or be eligible to acquire a general hunting licence.

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Applications will be reviewed based on experience until the end of December.

The program, which the territorial government developed with Indigenous government and Indigenous organizations, follows a pilot program for trapper mentorship that launched in the fall of 2020. The GNWT also launched a pilot program at Yellowknife’s North Slave Correctional Complex to teach inmates about trapping last winter.

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