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The IHEA-World Welcomes the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society as Partners in Hunter Education

IHEA presents a membership plaque to NAFWS. Pictured left to right: Sean Cross, Jae Ellison, Alex Baer, Julie Thorstenson, and Megan Fedrick 

The Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is now partnered with the International Hunter Education Association allowing Native American tribes to become certified to teach Hunter Education. This new partnership opens up Hunter Education to the over 4.5 million Native Americans, allowing them reciprocity to hunt worldwide.

With 227 tribes in 7 regions, NAFWS supports these tribes in their right to manage over 56 million acres of tribal lands for fishing and hunting. Delivering messages of safe hunting practices through state wildlife agency programs has been extremely difficult, if not impossible, in many of these territories. This partnership allows 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.

Shawna Belavance, President of IHEA-WORLD commented, “I would like to welcome NAFWS to IHEA-World. We are proud to have you join our world association, and we look forward to working together with you and all our world partners to achieve the highest standards of safe, responsible, and ethical hunters – this is the goal we strive for every day.”

“Kwak kway (Thank you) to the IHEA-World and the NAFWS for collaborating together to accomplish the Hunt Safe Program under the NAFWS,” stated Darren Talayumptewa, NAFWS Board Member. “This program will allow tribes to use their sovereignty to implement the same Hunter Education curriculum taught within each state game and fish agency, however it 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 hope tribes and state agencies will honor the certification and continue with our collaborative efforts to teach Hunter Education values and ethics for all.”   

Continuing education training for Hunter Educators in the tribes is already available through the IHEA-USA’ portal, and Hunter Education classes are expected to launch in tribal territories in the summer of 2023.