SIGNIFICANT BOREAL FOREST PROTECTION SECURED BY PROVINCE, BLOODVEIN FIRST NATION
– – – Pimitotah Land Management Plan Key Part of UNESCO World Heritage Bid: Chomiak, Robinson
More than 3,900 square kilometres of Bloodvein First Nation’s traditional land has been legally designated as a traditional-use planning area which defines how the land and resources will be protected while guiding future economic development, Conservation Minister Dave Chomiak and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced today.
“Bloodvein First Nation has developed a strong plan to guide economic development in the area while protecting the land, wildlife, waterways and natural resources,” said Chomiak. “We will continue to work with the community to implement this plan, protect the boreal forest and include it as part of the bid for a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
Bloodvein First Nation is located more than 250 kilometres north of Winnipeg on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.
Under the East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act, the province has legally designated the traditional-use planning area and approved Pimitotah – To Care for our Land, the community’s land-use plan. The ministers said the main objectives of the plan include:
protecting the land, wildlife and waterways;
preserving and celebrating Anishinaabe knowledge, traditions, heritage and culture;
identifying economic development opportunities;
creating training and job opportunities;
co-managing the Bloodvein Heritage River and Atikaki Provincial Park with the Manitoba government; and
participating in the world heritage site nomination bid.
“The Pimitotah land-use plan ensures the highest level of protection for the boreal forest while allowing for sustainable community and economic development,” said Robinson at a signing ceremony for the plan and planning area at Bloodvein First Nation yesterday. “Bloodvein First Nation has a strong vision for the future of their community and I am both proud and excited that our government will continue to work with them to make their vision a reality.”
“Our community is working with the province to ensure the people who have stewarded this land for centuries continue to engage in its management and protection,” said the Bloodvein First Nation Chief Roland Hamilton.
The land-management plan will be part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site bid, which will be formally submitted in 2012, Chomiak said. The land management plans of the Poplar River, Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations, two provincial parks and the Pikangikum First Nation in Ontario will also form part of the UNESCO bid.
Approval of the Pimitotah plan brings the total area of protected lands in Manitoba to 6.6 million hectares, or 10.2 per cent of the province.