March 28, 2023
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies is excited to see the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS) partner with the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA), allowing Native American tribes to become certified to teach Hunter Education. This announcement was made last week during the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in St. Louis, MO.
“The Association is thrilled to see the inclusion of NAFWS in partnership with the Hunter Education community,” said Curt Melcher, Director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “This new partnership will provide the opportunity for Native Americans to provide hunter education training to their members and lawfully participate in hunts all over the world.”
This partnership allows for NAFWS associated tribes to teach Hunter Education and issue valuable official Hunter Education cards certifying new hunters to buy licenses anywhere in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and other IHEA-WORLD partner countries. Continuing education training for Hunter Educators in the tribes is already available through the IHEA-USA’s Learnhunting.org portal, and Hunter Education classes are expected to launch in tribal territories in the summer of 2023.
“Kwak kway (Thank you) to the International Hunters Education Association and the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society for collaborating together to accomplish the Hunt Safe Program under the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society,” stated Darren Talayumptewa, Program Manager for the Hopi Tribe Department of Natural Resources and Southeast Regional Director for the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society. “This program will allow tribes to use their sovereignty to implement the same hunter's education curriculum taught within each state game and fish agency, however, will allow tribes to incorporate their own respective traditional and cultural hunting ethics and practices for our people and the general public. It is our hopes tribes and state agencies will honor the certification and continue with our collaborative efforts to teach hunter education values and ethics for all.”
"At the IHEA, we work with partners to create safe, responsible, and ethical hunters in the field,” stated Alex Baer, Executive Director of IHEA. “The NAFWS has the potential to reach thousands of new students each year with these ideals through this professional relationship. We are excited to work together and we welcome their engagement and contributions to the IHEA-WORLD community."
About the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS): The Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is a national tribal organization established informally during the early 1980's. NAFWS was incorporated in 1983 to develop a national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.