The Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective operates with a collective governance model, based on an understanding that water is the life-blood of Mother Earth, and that we all have a collective responsibility in ensuring the health of Lake Winnipeg for future generations. LWIC is led by the steering committee that functions as a collective governing body, with the leadership and guidance of the Southern and Northern Basin Representatives.
The Steering Committee
The role of the steering committee is to be the decision-making body of LWIC. The steering committee establishes structures, policies, procedures, action plans, and recommendations for the collective. The Steering Committee currently has representation from six First Nations surrounding Lake Winnipeg including Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Norway House Cree Nation, Black River First Nation, Pinaymootang First Nation, Misipawistik Cree Nation, and Poplar River First Nation. Communities who express a strong interest and commitment to LWIC are invited to participate on the LWIC steering committee. The steering committee operates through consensus-based decision making, where all Nations are involved in decisions and resolution of issues emerges piece-by-piece through discussion. The steering committee is represented by individuals who are appointed by their First Nation council who accept the guiding principles of LWIC and embrace their roles and responsibilities to provide expertise and experiences from their Nation to help guide decision-making.
The South and North Basin Representatives
The LWIC steering committee advises the south and north basin representatives, who have the responsibility of upholding the views of the collective in decision-making. The south and north basin representatives are members of the steering committee who have embraced an active participatory role and have gained the trust and support of the entire collective in their position as leaders and advisors. The individual representatives hold no personal decision making authority for LWIC, but are appointed to finalize decisions in the best interest of the collective.
For urgent matters requiring approval, the south and north basin representatives will provide a response which represents the best interest of the collective, however; they will seek the counsel of the steering committee for most matters. The LWIC Accord is used as the principle guiding document for LWIC in decision-making.