Projects

Becoming involved and participating the developing economic activities within the Wabaseemoong Traditional Land Use Area is assurance that the benefits and consequences are shared. Wabaseemoong will no longer deal with the impacts made from those activities. Wabaseemoong will lend its knowledge and practices into the sustainability of resources within the TLUA. Court decisions have confirmed what Wabaseemoong has envisioned of the TLUA. Wabaseemoong has initiated with OSAA, MNR and other interested parties to secure the TLUA as a model for shared decision-making, stewardship and benefits.

Capacity Building and Training

Wabaseemoong Independent Nation (WIN) have begun the identification, collection, data basing and mapping of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and other culturally important information utilizing geographic information system (GIS) technology. The project will create local capacity for digital data base of recording and storing traditional and contemporary information. By recording the knowledge and wisdom of the Elders, this will empower WIN to engage with Ontario regarding planning and management of the resources within the traditional land use area (TLUA). The GIS data base will also help to ensure Wabaseemoong Independent Nation Traditional Knowledge on Resource Management is appropriately shared, understood and respectfully considered by Ontario and industry.

Partnering with David Mackett, Coordinator of the Traditional Knowledge Cooperative (TKC) which is located in Thunder Bay, Wabaseemoong is building local technical capacity and skills to collect and utilize cultural values and traditional knowledge which will enable community leadership to:

  • enhance the involvement of community members in community decision-making on the TLUA.
  • participate more effectively in consultation, shared stewardship and co-operative decision-making with provincial ministries.
  • integrate community values and resource management perspectives within all provincial land use planning initiatives (forest, park, etc).

Traditional Knowledge

Wabaseemoong is currently collecting data and information on resource management practices. It is a process which Elders share their experiences, knowledge, stories which will be used for purposes that benefit people of Wabaseemoong and the community. The elders have openly expressed their intent of the knowledge. It is to pass on to the youth. They must learn of their history so that they can have a foundation of their pride. The youth need to know so that the culture can continue. This information must be used in the school system so that the youth can learn at an early age.

Joint Decision-Making

This knowledge can be used as a basis for shared decision-making. It is known that cultures have their own methods of enforcing laws and policies. The Anishinaabe expressed theirs through respect and honour. These methods need to be harmonized where each is heard and listened to.

Joint Stewardship

In a Joint Stewardship implementation, each will bring to the table their expressed backgrounds. It is the intent that these will be used to reach a shared result of decision-making process.

The results will be shared benefits in economical, political and cultural growth. One of the most over-riding principles has been to put back what you take from the earth. This principle speaks to the need of governments, industries and all end-users to reinvest back into the TLUA.

OTHER PROJECTS – Sacred Sites

The TLUA committee are collecting information on identifying where all sacred areas a sites. They are developing a map which outlines these areas. There are two staff members who are receiving training in gaining technology and GIS mapping.

Wild Rice Ecological Restoration

Whitedog Lake and other fresh water bodies located in the TLUA have historically been an important source of manomin, or wild rice, for the people of Wabaseemoong. With the building of hydroelectric developments on the Winnipeg and English River systems in the 1950s, the natural water levels required for wild rice were disrupted. As a result, wild rice is no longer as plentiful as in the past.

The Wild Rice Project focuses on manomin ecological restoration, which implies restoring wild rice habitat, as well as relationships between humans and nature, language and traditional activities. Within the project, an ecological restoration plan based on biophysical data and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) will be developed. Biophysical measurements include bathymetric mapping and vegetation surveys. TEK and perspectives on ecological restoration are documented through workshops and interviews with community members.

The Wild Rice Project also aims to include both adults and young people in the ecological restoration process. Within the project, a wild rice camp will be organized for adults and youth in September 2014 on the Scot River.

The Wild Rice Project is carried out in partnership with the University of Manitoba, and there is a master’s student working with the community.

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