Two Far North First Nations Tackle Land Use Planning
September 01, 2009
McGuinty Government Supports Identification Of Employment, Business Opportunities
Two First Nations in Ontario’s Far North are developing a community-based land use plan to help generate job opportunities, improve social well-being, foster skills among community members and enhance their ability to attract business.With assistance from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls First Nation, members of the Windigo First Nations Council, are working within the Far North Planning Initiative to develop a land use plan that will guide future development. Once in place, the plan will help the communities benefit from sustainable opportunities in commercial forestry, mining, tourism, hydro development and other economic development activities within their traditional territories. It will also contribute to the Far North Initiative’s broad-scale regional planning.
The three-year project, which supports the government’s five point economic plan, will be managed on behalf of the two communities by Bamaji Air Inc., a for-profit business owned by Slate Falls First Nation.
“I commend these communities for assuming a leadership role in Far North planning. By working diligently together, they are forging a brighter future for their members.”
– Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry and Chair of the NOHFC
“Community-based land use planning is one of the cornerstones of Ontario’s Far North Strategy. Cat Lake and Slate Falls First Nations demonstrate great leadership by identifying local economic development opportunities that will benefit their communities while balancing traditional uses and environmental protection.”
– Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources
“Job creation and skills training at the First Nation community level is essential to improve the quality of life in First Nation communities. This initiative will help promote meaningful participation of First Nations in land use planning based on their knowledge and expertise of the land.”
– Brad Duguid, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
• Through the NOHFC, the province is providing $770,000 for this project. Another $265,000 has been invested through the Forest Futures Trust Fund.
• The Far North covers some 450,000 square kilometres, an area that makes up more than 40 per cent of Ontario’s land mass.
• The forests and peat lands of Ontario’s Far North help filter more than 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and store more than 97 billion tonnes of carbon.
• About the NOHFC
• About Ontario’s Far North Planning Initiative
Anne-Marie Flanagan, Minister’s Office, 416-327-0655
Michel Lavoie, MNDMF, 705-564-7125