Clifford Bob, Land and Resources Policy Analyst
- Letters were written to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources demanding an appropriate response from MNR to the requirement for proper consultation on natural resource management initiatives being pursued by this Ministry and its industrial partners in Treaty #3 Territory.
- An article was written for the fall issue of the Northwest Ojibway News on what constitutes proper consultation, which is required by both Anishinaabe and Crown Law.
- A press release was written: “Grand Council Treaty #3 warns that forest management practices proposed by Ontario MNR threaten the environment and lifestyles of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.”
- An article on AN-T3 involvement in the international Forest Stewardship Council appeared in the summer issue of the Northwest Ojibway News.
- We have participated in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), National Aboriginal Forestry Association (NAFA), Gordon Foundation and Canadian Boreal Trust conferences on the role of Aboriginal Peoples and values in FSC certification, boreal (northern) forest conservation and related issues.
Capacity Building – Nation Re-claiming
- We are continuing our development of the watershed Earth Management Unit (EMU) concept as an integrated “technical” as well as “traditional” geographical concept for addressing all land, water and natural resources issues, and development opportunities. The EMU’s integrate our Trapline Management Units (TMU’s) with watershed ecosystems established by the Creator. Together these land units provide integrated planning and management areas for applying our Earth Law, Manitou Aki Inakonigaawin (MAI). A sub-unit of the Lake of the Woods EMU, the Alneau Penninsula, has been selected as an initial planning unit. Staff from the Anishinabeg of Kabapikotwangag Resource Council and Grand Council Treaty #3 will begin work on an Anishinaabe planning process for this land and water unit in January of 2002.
- We have continued our review of OMNR proposals for conservation and park reserves under their Ontario Living Legacy (OLL) Program. We are using our four regions and watershed EMU structure to accomplish this consultation process. Community interest in contributing to this MNR program is generally very limited. Discussions to date indicate that our people would prefer to see an AN-T3 conservation strategy with protected areas designated for each of our management units based on traditional Anishinaabe values.
- As a member of the Ontario Boreal FSC Standards Work Group, we are developing standards for forest management in this region which, if adopted by governments and implemented by forest managers, will insure: 1) much improved environmental protection; 2) clear recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights; and 3) a substantial increase in local community economic opportunities.
Support for Assemblies, Communities, Technicians
- Provided support to our two Shoal Lake Communities who have been working very hard on behalf of all AN-T3 citizens to formulate, with the Governments of Canada, Manitoba, Ontario and Winnipeg, a cooperative Shoal Lake Watershed Management Plan that respects the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of our people (see Outstanding Issues below).
- Continuing discussions with Chiefs, AN-T3 staff, community leaders and staff, trapline managers and interested citizens regarding development of an AN-T3 natural resource planning and review process.
- Respond to calls from communities and individuals requesting natural resource information.
- Responded to calls from two of our communities where fishermen are raising questions regarding the exercise of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights relative to MNR regulations. Inquiries were made and discussions took place with the Southern Regional Chief, Dan Kelly and the Chief Responsible for Natural Resources, Bill Fobister. Still largely unresolved, the Southern Region is taking a lead role in addressing these issues.
- Natural Resources information packages have been updated for the National Assemblies, providing more details on information contained in this report. Related information on natural resource programs of outside agencies and environmental NGO’s which may provide opportunities for resource and environmental protection in Treaty#3 Territory were available at a natural resource information station at our Fall Assembly.
- Networking activities: attended four meetings of the FSC Boreal Standards Work Group; met with OMNR and Government of Canada Species at Risk Biologists to discuss the possibility of AN-T3 participation in species protection programs. Participated in two NAFA conferences.
Outstanding Issues: Follow – Up
- Establish negotiation strategy for addressing: 1) Crown governments, and 2) industry, on the issues of MAI implementation and natural resource revenue sharing.
- Following on the outcome of the revenue sharing negotiations, establish funding and related program development for two Anishinaabe Conservation Officer (ACO) positions in each of our four regions to meet the requirements of the MAI and related environmental protection and natural resource management objectives.
- Establish a comprehensive GIS with four regional workstations. Resource Revenue Sharing (RRS) agreements along with the Trapline Management Agreement are the keys to getting this underway.
- Continuing work with other Aboriginal governments, industry and environmental NGO's on new standards for forest management planning and practices; including representing Treaty #3 on the work group developing draft standards for the Ontario boreal forest region.
- AN-T3 communities that have been attempting to work with the Governments of Canada, two Provinces and the City of Winnipeg in the Shoal Lake Watershed Management planning process may have to discontinue involvement due to unwillingness of the other governments to accept input from AN-T3 representatives.
- Three separate task force/work groups are needed to address outstanding issues in the areas of forestry, fisheries and water resources, recognizing that their work should be closely coordinated and integrated.
- A key issue to be addressed relative to land and resources development programs and projects is the relationship between governance and private sector Anishinaabe business development and/or employment. Realistic employment goals and objectives should be defined for both of these very different sectors.
- Another key issue to be addressed is whether or not to participate in Crown government natural resource management programs. The alternative is to initiate self-governing Anishinaabe programs, supported by a fare share of natural resource revenues: reminding Crown government political leaders and officials that sharing of lands and resources was a primary element in the spirit and intent of Treaty #3.
- As a result of our first watershed EMU planning meeting to review OLL proposals, Resolution #93-030, Trout Lake, was again brought to the attention of OMNR, having apparently been ignored for the past eight years. The response from the Province to date has been negative.
- Establish the governance concept and actual process of holistic economic and ecological natural resources planning and management in the watershed EMU’s which make up Treaty #3 Territory.
- Establish with all governments and private sector interest groups involved in natural resource decision making in Treaty #3 Territory: 1) recognition of the requirement for respectful and meaningful consultation on natural resource management issues; 2) recognition that Aboriginal government, like Crown government, must have the capacity to involve its people in a credible planning process addressing natural resource management problems and opportunities; and 3) that requirement 2) must be met before requirement 1) can be addressed.
- Empower AN-T3 communities and citizens to participate in both governance and private sector opportunities in natural resource planning and management. This would include securing funding for participation of Elders, trappers and others in AN-T3 natural resource planning and management, and in the review of planning and assessment documents developed by outside proponents. It would also involve development of adequate support programs for students seeking education and training in natural resource technical fields.
For more information on this department contact the following:
Land & Resources Policy Analyst
Toll Free: 800-665-3384