News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 17, 2015


Summit to Engage Manitobans in Balanced Approach to Boreal Region: Ministers Mackintosh, Robinson

The Manitoba government is co-ordinating a boreal summit in northern Manitoba to help Indigenous communities, stakeholders and Manitobans work towards a shared vision of prosperity and sustainability, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced today.

"To create a broad and well-balanced approach to the boreal region, we need to combine the strengths of traditional ecological knowledge, scientific research, integrated planning, data gathering and monitoring,” said Minister Mackintosh.  “We look forward to the boreal summit where so many views and ideas will be brought together to contribute to the future of our province.”

The minister noted the wildlife, forests, rivers, lakes and wetlands that make up the boreal region have local, national and international importance.  The purpose of the summit is to bring Indigenous people and stakeholders together to initiate a process to make decisions and identify follow-up activities that reflect the interests of Indigenous people, northern communities, industry, conservation organizations and other interested groups.

“The boreal region is a vast area of complex systems and balances, and we want to hear ideas for long-term prosperity from the people who call this region home,” said Minister Robinson.  “We want to know what they want for the region’s future and we want to work together on approaches for sustainable development and conservation.”

The summit will take place today at the Kikiwak Inn on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.  Participants will discuss key items including:

  • ways to acquire current information, science and other local knowledge and data;
  • the co-ordination of existing and future planning, policy and initiatives;
  • collaboration for economic prosperity, northern jobs and environmental health;
  • organization of approaches to challenges, such as addressing issues with endangered species, ecological goods and services, as well as changing water management; and
  • adaptation to climate change impacts and risks.

“The development of a meaningful and effective strategy for the north must include First Nation perspectives,” said Chief Ron Evans, Norway House Cree Nation.  “I am pleased to see the inclusion of Aboriginal and First Nation participants in this summit.  It is important that we share our teachings, values, knowledge and experiences, all of which are critical to the protection and sustainability of our lands, waters and resources.”

“We are pleased to see the Province of Manitoba invite so many potential partners to join in the development of a northern boreal strategy,” said Ron Thiessen, executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Manitoba Chapter.  “Northern Manitoba is an important part of our economy, environment and identity, and we have the opportunity that so many other places have lost, the chance to balance resource use and conservation.”

Minister Mackintosh noted this summit supports TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, an eight-year plan that supports environmental protection while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy.

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