About the East Side

Heart of Our Boreal

“The Heart of the Boreal” is a long term initiative, by environment groups, to preserve a vast, largely intact majestic boreal eco-system on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.

Our work supports a bid led by First Nations for a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) designation for roughly 4.3 million hectare, the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Project, which spans the Manitoba and Ontario borders.

The Pimachiowin Aki Inc., is led by Poplar River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Bloodvein First Nations on the Manitoba side and Pikangikum First Nation in Ontario, and is the organization responsible for putting together the UNESCO bid. The province of Manitoba continues to provide funding on an ongoing basis to Pimachiowin Aki Inc. for traditional land use planning a fundamental component necessary for a successful UNESCO bid.

The government of Manitoba introduced an historic land use planning bill in the legislature, in December 2008, to support this important work.

Bill 6; appropriately named The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act, gives First Nations on the east side of Lake Winnipeg the legislative ability to better manage, plan, control and protect the natural resources within their traditional territories. This is a significant first for Canada.
In late 2009 the government of Manitoba announced the establishment of a Trust Fund for the proposed UNECSCO World Heritage Site for the Eastside of Lake Winnipeg.

Starting in 2012 the government of Manitoba commits to providing $10 million dollars over a four year period. The Trust Fund will be used to support the management of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and to help fund community based projects that meet the value and vision of the proposed World Heritage Site and the First Nation communities whose traditional lands make up the largest portion of the proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We have supported this WHS nomination since it’s’ inception and we are dedicated to ensuring that the integrity of the process is not compromised and that the vision and values of the First Nations involved are honoured and respected. We will continue to campaign toward this goal while the nomination process continues.