World Water Day and Spring Gathering
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 participating in the collective. This handbook was created to solidify the LWIC governance structure, foster additional partnerships, inform the First Nations around Lake Winnipeg, and to encourage participation on the steering committee. At this gathering LWIC representatives also planned for the 2017 Fish Habitat project in Norway House Cree Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation. This project will document traditional and local knowledge on impacts to fish and fish habitat in Lake Winnipeg and it's tributaries in order to help LWIC inform policy decisions on Lake Winnipeg.
LWIC representatives were then taken on a guided tour of the impacted areas of Pinaymootang First Nation, Lake St.Martin First Nation, and Little Saskatchewan First Nation. Through this tour, LWIC learned about how the province of Manitoba regulates drainage and flooding in Lake Manitoba and how the communities have been impacted by the Fairford water control structure and the Lake St.Martin emergency outlet channel.