First Nations and Métis map traditional territories

From the Nipawin Journal:

Posted By Tyler Clarke/Nipawin Journal

Posted 14 days ago

Métis Local #42 and Cumberland House Cree Nation have been awarded a grant of $172,000 in order to map out their traditional territories.

"It does give you a sense of the way of the land, and what you've got to be preserving," First Nations and Métis Relations representative Bonny Braden said.

The goal in mapping these traditional territories is to help get First Nations, Métis, and other groups such as government and various industries on the same page with regards to management of natural resources.

"When development comes along in the future, everyone knows how the land was used," Braden said.

This consultation, Braden said, will help establish an understanding between government and industries and First Nations and Métis groups with regards to traditional territories.

This understanding of traditional territories can then be used in the consultation of various issues, including hunting, fishing, trapping, ceremonial purposes, as well as possible proposed projects such as pipelines.

Braden said that the First Nations and Métis groups will have a year to complete the mapping project, which will include the hiring of people such as consultants to help execute the traditional mapping.

In another consultation project currently being planned, a province-wide series of grants totaling over $500,000 is being handed out by the Ministry of First Nations and Métis Relations. The grants will work to help First Nations and Métis groups get involved in developing a new provincial fisheries management plan.

"It is essential for our government to support the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan as it seeks insight about the vast Saskatchewan fisheries resources from Métis communities," First Nations and Métis Relations Minister June Draude said in a news release. "This will enable us to design a more sensitive and comprehensive fisheries management plan."

This new provincial fisheries management plan has a goal of guiding the long-term management and allocation of the province's fisheries resources. Emerging issues such as increased assess to fisheries, changing climate conditions, and increased demand for some fish species will be tackled.

According to First Nations and Métis Relations, consultations will take place in the form of community workshops. The funds will also allow for the Métis Nation - Saskatchewan to obtain technical expertise and provide feedback to government regarding drafts of the Métis Harvesting Memorandum of Understanding and a draft of the Consultation Policy Framework.

"We would support the Métis and First Nations to consult on this issue," Braden said of the consultation initiative.

All First Nations and Métis groups from across Saskatchewan can apply for consultation grants, and can therefore have a say in the future of Saskatchewan fisheries resources. Braden said that the application process is currently underway.