News

Read our latest news and announcements.

Manitoba Legislative

On December 1st, 2017, five LWIC representatives from four First Nations met with the Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development, Rob Olson, and his assistant, Jocelyn Baker. The First Nations in attendance were Norway House Cree Nation, Black River First Nation, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, and Pinaymootang First Nation. This meeting was requested following the CBC news article released on July 6th, 2017, describing the City of Winnipeg's wastewater effluent violations from the northend treatment plant, and the application by the city to ammend their license to allow for a rolling average on...

On August 21st-24th, 2017, LWIC partnered with Misipawistik Cree Nation and the Northern Manitoba Food, Culture, and Community Collaborative to host the first LWIC youth gathering. This gathering brought Indigenous youth to the Misipawistik Culture camp to learn about the cultural, spiritual, recreational and economic value of Lake Winnipeg. 

Traditional ceremonies, including a pipe and sweat lodge ceremony were held. The youth also heard traditional songs and teachings from elders. Local representatives from Misipawistik Cree Nation also spoke to the youth about the history of their...

YRITWC Summit 2017

From August 1st to 3rd, LWIC interim South Basin Representative, Holly Morrisseau and LWIC Coordinator, Johanna Theroux, attended the Yukon River Inte-tribal Watershed Council biennial summit in Carcross, Yukon. The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) is an Indigenous grassroots non-profit organization, consisting of 73 First Nations and Tribes, dedicated to teh protection and preservation of the Yukon River Watershed. At the summit, LWIC learned about the projects and programs being undertaken by this organization, as well as their governance structure and lessons of their...

FRCN Fish Habitat Project, July 2017

From July 17th- 20th, LWIC, in partnership with Fisher River Cree Nation (FRCN), completed the first phase of the Fish and Fish Habitat Survey Project. This project, funded by the Wa-Ni-Ska-Tan Hydro Alliance, aims to collect traditional and local knowledge, stories, and testimonies about how fish habitat is being impacted in and around Lake Winnipeg and to summarize the findings into a report to leverage policy makers on key issues from an Indigenous perspective. Additionally, this project aims to identify areas where habitat protections or restoration may be beneficial for spawning in...

Minister McKenna, 2017

On July 24, LWIC elder William Abraham, offered an opening prayer in his traditional language before Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that the federal government will invest $25.7 million in the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program. This program will focus on three priorities, according to ECCC’s press release:

  • Reducing nutrient pollution
  • Enhancing collaboration to protect freshwater quality throughout the Lake Winnipeg basin
  • Strengthening collaborative-governance opportunities and supporting enhanced engagement of Indigenous peoples in addressing...
Hydro Alliance Gathering

In June 2017, LWIC gathered with participants and researchers of the Wa-Ni-Ska-Tan Hydro Alliance in Norway House Cree Nation to discuss the impacts of hydropower operations in the province of Manitoba and the Yukon Territory. LWIC representatives presented the video project, and described past and ongoing work in protecting and restoring Lake Winnipeg. LWIC representatives also attended a traditional sweatlodge ceremony and a community tour of Norway House Cree Nation. This gathering provided a fantastic opportunity for LWIC to promote the work being done and network with other hydro impacted...

Gord Bluesky Sustainability Awards Brokenhead

On May 10th, 2017, LWIC's South Basin Representative, Gord Bluesky, was recognized at the Manitoba Excellence in Sustinability Awards with an honorable mention for his work in water and natural area stewardship. For the past decade, Gord has demonstrated his commitment to sustainability as the Lands and Resources Manager for the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and as a member of the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association Board of Directors. Gord has also been LWIC's south basin representative since the group began in 2014 and has been instrumental to LWIC's leadership and success...

In celebration of World Water Day 2017, LWIC representatives gathered in Pinaymootang First Nation on March 22nd and 23rd to showcase the finalized LWIC video project. This project involved the creation of three 5-minute videos featuring three First Nations including Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Norway House Cree Nation, and Misipawistik Cree Nation. The videos highlight the relationship each First Nation has with the lake and describe the environmental challenges they are facing. LWIC has also finalized a participation handbook, outlining the roles, responsibilities, and benefits of...

Federal environmental regulatory review

In 2016, the Government of Canada began it's review of key federal environmental regulatory processes.This review was based on changes made in 2012 through the two key environmental regulations: the Fisheries Act, and the Navigation Protection Act. Two environmental regulatory processes were also reviewed including the National Energy Board and the Environmental Assessment process. LWIC participated by submitting parliamentary briefs on the two environmental regulations. LWIC's position on the Navigation Protection Act focused on restoring protections  to all lakes and rivers in Canada from...

In November 2016, the LWIC steering committee, consisting of six First Nations from around Lake Winnipeg, met to discuss funding options and establish project plans for the upcoming year. The steering committee toured the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve to gain a deeper understanding of the environmental value of wetlands and the traditional medicines they provide. At this meeting, the steering committee learned about the federal environmental regulatory review process and were provided a presentation overviewing the key environmental legislations in Canada. From this meeting, the LWIC...

In September 2016, five LWIC First Nations were represented at a 4-day gathering at the Misipawistik Cree Nation culture camp. At this gathering, many elders and community members joined the conversations and discussions about how to address the impacts on Lake Winnipeg. LWIC representatives heard about the history and lasting effects of hydropower development in the Misipawistik traditional territory, established communication plans, and generated ideas for future projects and initiatives. At this gathering, the LWIC Accord was finalized, outlining the relationship between Indigenous people...

LWIC NAPECA conference

In September, LWF and LWIC were invited by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to attend the commission’s annual gathering in Mexico. This work was part of the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA). While there, LWF’s Programs Director had the opportunity to present to the environment ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States, sharing the some of the cross-cultural learnings with respect to Lake Winnipeg management and conservation that are emerging through LWF and LWIC’s collaboration.

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