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  • » Hebron Sinclair Jr. | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    more involved in shaping it Of a total of 98 197 First Nations people in Manitoba 62 846 or 64 are under age 29 about 10 years younger on average than the overall Canadian population The Manitoba First Nation Youth Council Initiative is a positive effort by Manitoba s First Nation Youth to establish a recognized voice for the First Nation youth population The MFNYC mission statement states Our Youth are our future and they must be prepared to accept the challenges the future holds First Nations people continue to be over represented by the social ills faced by society and there is a need for youth to actively take a role in creating solutions Hebron s motto is It s time to move forward He believes and strongly stands by the idea of community solidarity He equates it with the analogy of a wildfire It s like a flame If you strike a lighter you have but a small flame If you set that flame to a tree you have an unrelenting fire The future is now in our hands The elders have fought for us for a long time Now it s our turn Hebron is from Lake St Martin First Nation Located 260 kilometres north west of Winnipeg the community is located between Lake Manitoba and Lake St Martin at the northern tip of Manitoba s picturesque Interlake This area is an ecological paradise and abounds in boreal forest wildlife Black bear moose and waterfowl thrive in the area s lush landscape The diversity and health of the local species however is dependant on the state of the ecosystem an ecosystem that is under threat from activities that are degrading and polluting surrounding lands and waters It s all about respect You respect Mother Earth like you

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/stories/45/hebron-sinclair-jr (2016-02-09)
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  • » Mary Crate | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    for the environment Peace can only exist in fair and just societies societies where resources are shared equitably Protecting the integrity of the environment and its ecosystems is paramount to ensuring that the needs of all creatures now and in the future are secure This must begin with the sharing of knowledge and especially with the awareness that we are all invested in a common future Water Women Life began as water and woman for this reason women have been given the responsibility by the creator to care for the water Her the Mother Earth lifeblood is the water that flows through her veins Women are the carriers of water It is in us that we carry the seed of life Mary wants to share the water teachings passed down to her from her elders We need water to live Everyday when I wake up I look to the east as the light rises in the sky and I give thanks to the Creator for all that is good in life Tobacco is given as an offering praying occurs at every meal and food is placed into the sacred fire as gifts to the creator Everything we do is a ceremony Even when we are asleep we are in the dreamtime ceremony That is why we must always remember our tobacco offerings every day and every night Every spring in early May Mary sets out to tend to the waters that are in her care The journey is a symbolic and spiritual one which she calls a Water Walk Performed by women together they dip a copper vessel into a natural freshwater spring and extract its clean and purifying waters The water housed in copper chosen because of its curative properties is then carried to the watery place that is in need of healing Followed by male warriors who provide support and safety the women and pray with the water that is to be given as a medicine to the lake and to the other life forms that live in the lake This spring the women will travel by foot for two days from the Fisher River Jackhead junction to Lake Winnipeg A Place in Need of Healing We need water to live Everyday when I wake up I look to the east as the light rises in the sky and I give thanks to the Creator for all that is good in life Lake Winnipeg is the largest aquatic life support system in Western Canada The Lake Winnipeg watershed the entire geographic area drained by a river and its tributaries is enormous Covering nearly a million square kilometres it stretches from the Rocky Mountain foothills nearly to Lake Superior The surrounding lands are home to many First Nations communities including Mary s community of Fisher River Fisher River and many of the people living around Lake Winnipeg rely on the large commercial fishery that the lake supports Surrounded by boreal forest Lake Winnipeg has a direct relationship with the

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/stories/39/mary-crate (2016-02-09)
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  • » Melissa Hotain | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    attitudes and change my own attitudes too Mrs Hotain s involvement encompasses an array of issues The environment includes climate change water and wastewater issues forestry fisheries species at risk environmental contaminants and overall environmental health More specifically participation and consultation in areas include hog production Red River Valley Water Supply Project Devil s Lake Outlet Protocol for Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities and Manitoba Model Forest With this awareness it becomes strikingly obvious the extent of the task that she is undertaking More resources including public participation and mobilization are necessary to address environmental issues that affect Indigenous people The main obstacle Mrs Hotain concedes is a persistent lack of resources Other provincial counterparts to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are better equipped to deal with the challenges There is more work that we can do she contends Others have more resources and staff which make them stronger more able to respond Eventually I d like to move in this direction Indigenous Spiritual Kinship The Indigenous worldview is unique It contains the knowledge that life on earth is co dependent where all things are connected and equal Mrs Hotain explains First Nations are very tied to the land traditionally Every different cultural group has teachings stories from time immemorial that show our affinity with the land Animals gave themselves to you and you respected them in return The land was respected and cared for it was all we had and it was a way of life How we treated the land is how it treated us The Indigenous way of life depended on this reciprocity which is guided by the subsistence or hunting and gathering lifestyle of the people An unspoken commitment existed between human beings and animals consequently the relationship with animals was analogous to kinship We never considered ourselves superior beings The knowledge was that we were brothers and sisters with the animals Mrs Hotain adds We just need to revitalize and practice it again The east side of Lake Winnipeg Canada s largest intact fragment of boreal forest is an area where First Nations communities still practice traditional activities Therefore the survival of the relatively isolated people who reside there is directly related to the health of the land First Nations connection to the land is holistic It is a way of life if you alter it it affects everything To me you have to think about the value of having the trees the flora and fauna everything that comes with it The changes imposed on the east side affects and alters the way one is able to practice good health Individually and collectively striving and conducting ourselves in ways that create positive and respectful relationships including our relationship with the natural world is fundamental to the Indigenous cosmology In a time when the natural functions of the earth are being unduly strained by human activity the need to revitalize the knowledge of spiritual kinship is even more paramount Through dedicated people there appears

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/stories/30/melissa-hotain (2016-02-09)
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  • » Shaunna Morgan: Imagine | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    reddening sky and the chill of morning tingles against your cheek Mist skims the lake tender spirals of damp hovering above dark water A warbler trills overhead and deep in the bush there is the rustle of some night creature making its way home to sleep Imagine This is sacred ground It has been here long before you were born and will be here long after you are dead You have come here to reclaim a piece of yourself lost in the bustle and busy of your modern life There is no place for phones here No place for computers or blackberries or televisions There is only room for silence Imagine Stillness settles on your soul You can hear for once the sound of your own heart It beats in time with all around you There is a place for you here A belonging You are no longer an outsider You are home Imagine Such a place exists for each of us Each in our own way something beyond claims us and we become whole So it was for Shaunna Morgan at Weaver Lake She found there a place of returning a moment when the rush of the world faded away She found a sacred place Imagine Imagine now that there is someone who has never known this place of refuge and solitude Someone who decides to cut a swath through the forest for logging or erects structures of metal and electricity and money Imagine The hum of the current as it passes down the lines the metal footprint of massive constructions that tower above even the jack pines Will the chickadees and sparrows find a place to build their homes in the arms of the hydroelectric power towers instead of trees Will the magic in this place seep slowly away with the intrusion of technology Imagine How you would feel returning to such a place Seeing the desecration of the forest and the damage done to the earth It is not as it was Parts remain enough so that if you close your eyes or avert your gaze just so the landscape is whole again and the life force remains As the boreal forest protects us by giving us clean water and air we in turn must protect its integrity There are places of power on our earth Places that heal and harbour us Some of these places are safe from industrial development like Weaver Lake Grand Island Goose Island Pemmican Island Pelican Island Kinwow Bay and Sturgeon Bay Designated within park reserves these places have been nominated for protection by First Nations We as a people are just beginning to understand again that we have a duty to guard those things which sustain our lives As the boreal forest protects us by giving us clean water and air we in turn must protect its integrity Everyone of us has the power to help Encourage the government to work with First Nations to permanently protect the park reserves they

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/stories/17/imagine-shaunna-morgan (2016-02-09)
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  • » Paul Chief | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    that there was not enough brown faces there A few of us were adamant that things had to change This is not the proper process I felt uncomfortable about speaking about what Berens River wanted or Island Lakes It makes things difficult You try to do the right thing When they started talking about borders and how big of a land mass this really was I looked around the table and I was disappointed to see that there was not enough brown faces there First Nations on the east side didn t realize that people would pay to recreate these areas and that tourism was a good economic opportunity for them For Mr Chief it is all about the people about respect We said we need to talk to the people so we should go to them Forget Hydro We know what they want they shouldn t be selling a transmission line and then we come in and start talking about what we should protect When we went to the communities everyone thinks that you re trying to sell them something They have never seen so many influential people in their communities before all with something to say There were people and organizations they had never heard of before and they were all attending this big community meeting Mr Chief likens his role at the community meetings to the stereotype of the smiling statuesque or wooden Indian He explains that being an Aboriginal person and going to these communities is difficult People believe you are a sell out and they take out their frustrations on you So it took a lot to get to know the local people and to gain credibility with them in order to actually get them on board I was happy to leave when it was over Why should I have a say in these people s backyards It s up to them The WNO was something new that had never been done before Consequently there are many challenges with it A lack of meaningful action was perhaps the strongest criticism Mr Chief assigned to the process An elder said to me don t be a rez dog A rez dog is always chasing something He chases you he chases cars But when the car stops the dog doesn t know what to do Be prepared and don t pursue what you don t intend or aren t able to act on The province of Manitoba wanted to do it right but they had no expertise They had no way of bringing First Nations people industry and stakeholders all to the table and get them to talk How do you increase involvement from the people that will be the most affected by decisions on the east side How do you get more vocal people out that have the highest stake in the outcome All good questions Mr Chief says Nobody has the answer Those of us who participated asked the question Personally I think in the

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/stories/25/paul-chief (2016-02-09)
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  • » Sophia Bittern Rabliauskas » E-Mail | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    Peigi Wilson Lessons from the Land of the Sleeping Giant An Interview with Liz Esquega Thomas Beaudry View all stories The Project About the Project Contact Us This project was supported by a grant from The Winnipeg Foundation E Mail Sophia Bittern Rabliauskas To A Friend Email a copy of Sophia Bittern Rabliauskas to a friend Required Field Your Name Your E Mail Your Remark Friend s Name Separate multiple

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/stories/69/sophia-bittern-rabliauskas/email/ (2016-02-09)
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  • » In the News | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    Comments Pact protects Canadian forests Huge conservation deal will benefit caribou and maybe climate An unlikely coalition of logging companies and environmental groups has reached an agreement to protect more than 300 000 square kilometres of Canadian boreal forest an area larger than the United Kingdom the biggest forest conservation deal in history An additional 385 000 square kilometres will fall under strict guidelines that will promote sustainable logging and protect ecologically and culturally sensitive sites Under the agreement unveiled on 18 May in Toronto Ontario 21 members of the Forest Products Association of Canada which represents the majority of companies in the Canadian logging industry will set aside slightly less than half of the land for which they hold leases across seven provinces In exchange nine environmental groups including Greenpeace and the Nature Conservancy have pledged to suspend do not buy campaigns against the loggers products which range from construction lumber to toilet paper and to actively endorse them We Read the rest of this story Posted in In the News No Comments Historic deal on forest preservation Industry environmentalists declare truce in bitter battle OTTAWA Canada s largest forest companies and major environmental groups have reached a deal on logging practices in the country s massive northern forests in what one supporter said might be the most important forest conservation initiative in history Sources said the agreement to be made public today will declare a three year truce in the public relations war between the industry and environmentalists over the logging of one the word s most precious natural resources The formal announcement involving 21 of Canada s biggest companies all members of the Forest Products Association of Canada and nine environmental organizations is to be made in Toronto The industry and environmental groups refused to release details Monday but sources said it involves protection of the most sensitive parts of the country s so called boreal forest in British Columbia Alberta Manitoba and Ontario comprising about 70 million hectares of woodlands Sources say environmental Read the rest of this story Posted in In the News No Comments Forestry firms environmental groups reach logging deal OTTAWA Canada s largest forest companies and major environmental groups have reached a deal on logging practices in the country s massive northern forests in what one supporter said might be the most important forest conservation initiative in history Sources said the agreement to be made public Tuesday will declare a three year truce in the public relations war between the industry and environmentalists over the logging of one the word s most precious natural resources The formal announcement involving 21 of Canada s biggest companies all members of the Forest Products Association of Canada and nine environmental organizations is to be made in Toronto The industry and environmental groups refused to release details Monday but sources said it involves protection of the most sensitive parts of the country s so called boreal forest in British Columbia Alberta Manitoba and Ontario comprising about

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/category/news/page/6 (2016-02-09)
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  • » Sleeping with polar bears | Aboriginal Boreal Conservation Leaders
    thanks to an exciting plan by the cautious but increasingly creative people at Parks Canada If all goes well with a pilot project this summer guided day hikes and backpacking trips inside Wapusk National Park may be possible as soon as 2011 Ideally we ll have operators that can take people into the park next year Wapusk superintendent Cam Elliott says Over the past five years University of Manitoba students have been going on guided day hikes inside the park during the summer when the bears hang out on land As a result Parks Canada has gathered valuable experience about how to manage the presence of people inside the park Actively avoiding bears is the key tactic So is not doing anything that may attract the animals such as being careless with cooking scents Armed with this knowledge Parks Canada has partnered up with Churchill tour operators to take four lucky guinea pigs on a three day guided trip inside the park The pilot project participants all winners of a charity auction prize will spend their days on guided walks accompanied by a bear spotter armed with pistol banger and shotgun At night they ll sleep inside at a Broad River enclosure that s surrounded by a bear proof wire and cement fence Parks Canada is also building a second enclosure at Owl River If all goes well both enclosures will open as back country campsites in 2011 Wapusk National Park even has a proposed fee schedule for the visits 24 50 per person 61 25 for a family of five or 147 20 for an entire year plus tour costs Under the proposed fee schedule half day tours with a park interpreter and bear monitor will cost 267 while full day tours will be 490 65 Most people will take helicopters into the park but Parks Canada is also looking at float plane or boat access to make Wapusk more accessible to ordinary tourists We d like to have an opportunity for a broad range of people to visit Elliott says The environmental impact of putting people inside the park is a lot smaller than you d guess The bear proof enclosures are being built on rocky ancient beach ridges as opposed to the spongy tundra And some of the walking routes will be caribou trails One of the surprising things is we look at the tundra as pristine habitat but it is already highly disturbed You get a couple of thousand caribou walking down a beach ridge and they tear it up pretty good Elliott says So instead of creating a hiking trail we have the opportunity to put people on caribou trails Parks Canada may also build a bear proof enclosure to serve as a winter dogsled camp at a site called White Wale The bear danger is minimal during the winter but the cold presents different challenges At the same time Parks Canada is looking at expanding the range of tourism opportunities at Prince of Wales

    Original URL path: http://www.abcleaders.org/news/555/sleeping-with-polar-bears (2016-02-09)
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