On May 10, members of the MNO GRMC toured the North America Fur Auctions (NAFA) head office in Toronto. NAFA is a Canadian company that auctions on consignment fur pelts harvested in Canada and the United States. Its services are used by both large fur farms and small-time trappers. Its auctions are held three to four times a year in Toronto. It is the largest fur auction house in North America, and the second largest in the world.
With the 3 bears (left-right) MNO GRMC President Jennifer Parkinson, Region 9 PCMNO Councilor and Captain of the Hunt Peter Rivers, MNO GRMC Women's Representative Colleen Brunelle. NAFA is the successor to the Hudson's Bay Company's Canadian and American fur auction businesses, which were spun off in 1987 and 1989, respectively.
NAFA’s annual spring sale took place between May 8 and 14 this year. Spring sale dates focus largely on a vast array of wild-trapped fur from all across Canada and North America. The tour was able to showcase over 690,000 wild pelt lots. This included timber wolves, wolverines, bears, cougars, wild fox, beaver, fishers, lynx, otter and wild mink. It is reasonable to believe that many of these were trapped by MNO citizens. Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) Region 9 Councilor, Peter Rivers, was astounded to learn of the value placed on two particularly handsome timber wolf pelts.
Also on auction during this week, were more than 3,081,000 lots of various ranched mink and ranched silver and red fox pelts. The mink colour variations ranged over 17 mutations with numerous grading levels within each color. Senior grading expert, Murray Parkinson explained techniques used in grading fur as well as desirable and flawed differences between pelts.
Members of the MNO GRMC were able to learn of pelting techniques and fur processing through to auction consignment. It was an experience where one could appreciate fur at a professional level and value it as a green, renewable product that is good for the environment. Wild trapped fur still remains a source of income and economic stability for many MNO citizens.
The MNO GRMC would like to thank Senior Grader, Murray Parkinson, and Director of Rancher Relations for Canada, Wayne Booth, for facilitating this excellent learning opportunity.