Hottah Lake, N.W.T.

Hottah Lake, a popular spot for caribou hunting, lies northwest of Gameti, N.W.T.

The chief of Gameti is defending himself against charges that he squandered caribou meat.

David Wedawin, along with brothers Frank and Jimmy Arrowmaker, each face 12 meat wasting charges. 

Wedawin admits the three of them did take 16 caribou on a hunting trip last fall, but he says they didn't leave any behind.

He says wildlife officers got their facts wrong.

“They didn't see it with their two eyes,” he says. “I never waste any caribou in my life. This is not how I've been taught. You shoot caribou to take it home, you gotta feed your family. Not to waste.”

The charges stem from an incident last April where Environment and Natural Resources officers found parts of more than 50 caribou dumped in 12 sites around the lake.

Along with the carcasses, officers found meat suitable for food such as legs above the knee, rump, ribs and backstraps... even pregnant cows.

Wedawin and the Arrowmaker brothers appeared in territorial court in Behchoko on April 15.  

All three pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The three are scheduled to appear in court again May 27 to set a date for trial.