A rare albino moose, considered a sacred "spirit animal" by Nova Scotia's indigenous Mi'kmaq people, was killed last week by visiting hunters unaware of its spiritual significance. After the hunters posted photos of the kill on Facebook, outrage quickly spread both online and within the local Mi'kmaq community.
The CBC reports that the aboriginal communities have known about the moose for years, but do not kill it because it is considered sacred:
"We know the significance and we've been teaching that to the non-native population for almost 500 years — about the importance that this and other white animals played in our lives," he said. "We are not to harm them in any way, shape, or form because they could be one of our ancestors coming to remind us of something significant that's going to happen within our communities."