We are doing this so our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to hunt, fish and hike in the region. We are asking our neighbours to help us determine the best way to protect the beauty and natural richness of our region. The conservation plan we eventually propose to the government will contain no significant restrictions on recreational or subsistence activities such as hunting and fishing.
Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate
When I was growing up, the Fisher River was so clear you could see pebbles on the river bed. Our lakeshore beach used to be filled with people enjoying the cool, clean water. Our boats would come back to shore with enough fish to earn a good living. Our forests were filled with moose and deer to feed our community.
Today, algae has sullied Lake Winnipeg. Our beach is eroded. Our river is dirty and no longer fit for swimming. The moose are nearly gone. Many of the wetlands which once served to filter the water entering Lake Winnipeg have been lost.
We need a comprehensive plan to responsibly manage our land and water so our grandchildren’s grandchildren can enjoy the lifestyle many of us take for granted. We need to create new jobs and opportunities so our children stay close to home instead of leaving us for the bright lights of the city.
Our aim is to support and complement the Fisher River Integrated Watershed Management Plan and the Icelandic River and Washow Bay Creek Integrated Watershed Management Plan. The plans were developed by the East Interlake Conservation District in partnership with watershed residents, local municipalities, Fisher River Cree Nation, Peguis First Nation and the Province of Manitoba.
Fisher River Cree Nation is leading the Conservation Areas Initiative to develop a conservation plan for our region that will support many watershed management goals and spur sustainable economic development.
The study area consists of more than 934,000 hectares within the south eastern Interlake Region stretching from Riverton in the south to Kinwow Bay Provincial Park in the north. We do not expect every piece of this area to be protected: we are studying the broad needs of the region in order to develop an appropriate and balanced conservation plan.
The area we are studying is Fisher River Cree Nation’s Traditional Notice Area.
We are not the only people who love this land.
So we are asking our neighbours to help us determine the best way to protect the beauty and natural richness of the region.
We can get this done. So let’s get it done right. We all stand to gain from a regionally tailored conservation plan that is based on the best combination of ecological, cultural and economic considerations.