Taught by her mother, young trapper earns territorial recognition

This will be Jonah Sanguez’s second winter trapping, and already the 24-year-old has more than just her latest catch to boast about.

Jonah Sanguez is only in her 2nd season of trapping, following in her mother’s footsteps

Jonah Sanguez with rabbits she trapped. Sanguez was named among youth trappers of the year in the Northwest Territories. (Submitted by Jonah Sanguez)

This will be Jonah Sanguez's second winter trapping, and already the 24-year-old has more than just her latest catch to brag about.

Sanguez was one of five young trappers across the Northwest Territories who received trapper recognition awards from the territorial government for their "productivity in the Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program."

The award "recognizes the hard work N.W.T. trappers put into their craft and the contribution they make to our economy."

The award came as a huge shock to the Jean Marie River resident, originally from Fort Simpson, who says she didn't even know the award existed.

"It's very exciting. It took me by surprise for sure," Sanguez said.

Sanguez won a jacket and a plaque she plans to hang on her wall. She's one of two women who won awards in the youth category.

"It's a pretty great feeling. I feel pretty proud of myself," she said. "I was raised by an independent woman, so she encourages me to do the very best I can with myself. "

Jonah Sanguez weaves a rabbit fur blanket. (Submitted by Jonah Sanguez)

For Sanguez, trapping runs in the family. She started trapping last winter with her mother, and credits everything she knows to her.

"I was mostly observing since I was maybe seven or eight years old, and just last year I thought about giving it a try and seeing how it goes," she said.

"The first time trapping as a child, my mother and her two brothers, we would go out to a lake where my great grandparents used to live.

"Along the way there's a trapline and they would set traps for martens and lynx and we would go every winter, and just seeing them do that made me want to be a part of it."

Sanguez says she's still learning from her mother about living on the land, and of her own family background. She says her mom is her biggest supporter.  

"She was so proud. She's more proud than I am."