Over the past four decades Lake Winnipeg has been in decline as a result of nutrient loading, climate change, resource extraction, hydropower development, agriculture, and more recently, aquatic invasive species. These effects have had an impact on all those who live, work and play on the lake. The First Nations who are connected to Lake Winnipeg have a great deal of knowledge of the lake and have seen significant impact on their cultural, spiritual, social and economic well-being as a direct result of this environmental challenge. It has also been recognized that Indigenous voices are notably under-represented from the stakeholder conversations, decisions and actions on Lake Winnipeg. In 2014, 14 Indigenous nations from around Lake Winnipeg came together to discuss challenges and opportunities for First Nations living near the shores of Lake Winnipeg. The Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective (LWIC) was formed.
LWIC has since developed the LWIC Accord, outlining their Vision, Mission, and values, including their relationship with water and Lake Winnipeg.