Province Provides $500,000 to Support Development of Land-use Planning on East Side of Lake Winnipeg

Posted on August 16th, 2006

Source: Manitoba Government

The province is providing $500,000 to support land-use planning on the East Side of Lake Winnipeg which will give local communities a greater say over how resources in the region are utilized, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers announced today.

“We want the people of the area to have input into future resource use in the area and setting up a process to support land-use planning will help ensure participation in sustainable resource management,” said Struthers.

First Nations on the east side of Lake Winnipeg will apply to a newly-incorporated body created by Wabanong Nakaygum Okimawin (formerly known as the East Side Planning Initiative) to carry out individual land-use plans. Consideration of land-use planning funding applications is expected to begin once the province and the corporation develop a grant-funding agreement.

Wabanong Nakaygum Okimawin (WNO) also announced the creation of the incorporated body to serve as a foundation and guide for governments of First Nations on the east side of Lake Winnipeg to be involved in land-use planning activities that will affect their communities and traditional territories.

“The WNO process continues to represent a significant step forward for our people,” said Nelson Keeper, chair, WNO executive committee of chiefs. “The funding reinforces the province’s commitment to working with First Nations to develop long-term plans that will protect our land, the environment and the future of our people.”

The WNO was established in 2000. The name was changed in 2005 to better reflect First Nations people who represent more than 96 per cent of the population on the east side.

The goal of WNO is to develop a broad-area plan for the east side of Lake Winnipeg. The plan would ensure protection of the environment and boreal forest in the region as well as consider plans for sustainable land and resource development. Land-use planning is the next logical and critical component to that process. WNO was also established to ensure direct involvement of First Nations in future initiatives and potential sustainable development on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.