MNR Slates our Traditional Hunting & Fishing areas for “Public Land Use Planning”

If your First Nation Community is in the highlighted area of the map above than listen up! :P

If your First Nation Community is in the highlighted area of the map above than listen up! :P

Shakoo Angie lol But seriously I saw this the other night. It only caught my eye because I noticed that Muskrat Dam First Nation would be in that area than I went to go read it.  Sad to say I am not surprised that the people of Ontario are planning something for our traditional territories. NOT surprised at all! Even Elders saw this long time go. Which is why the Elders in Muskrat Dam came up with the Hunter’s Festivals. As controversial as they are, they still served an underlying purpose. (Personally, I don’t agree with a moose derby every year…hunter’s festival maybe? bi-annually maybe? but we need to remember the traditional ways our Elders kept balance in the land.  They just didn’t go in and slaughter every year. They moved around their traditional territories so one piece of land could replenish itself) They wanted to seek ways for the young people to stay in engaged in the the traditional activities such as hunting, fishing and trapping (plus they needed saw it fed the community and filled up people’s freezers with meat for the upcoming winter) and the Hunter’s festival was one of those ways. They said “If the government doesn’t see us using the land for hunting, fishing and trapping than they will come in a scoop it up from us. They will have valid reasons to take the land and use it for how they want to because we are not using it to support our lifestyles” Another Elder said to start buying land that sits between our communities. He knew the government was going to come and try to grab the Crown Land that sits between our communities.

If YOU or know of a community member who is in Sioux Lookout from 3 pm to 8 pm TONIGHT! Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 than please come to the Centennial Centre to read up on what MNR has planned for your land, your traditional territories, your trap lines and traditional hunting and fishing areas. Just don’t sign in or give your mailing address.  They will use to say “We consulted you or your community, see? someone from your community signed into our information night” 

OR if you have concerns than I encourage you to call the Ministry of Natural Resources in Sioux Lookout and invite them to come do a presentation in your community.  Their number is 1-807-737-1140 or toll free # is 1-800-667-1940. Encourage your community leadership to call them and invite them to come do a presentation in your community.  If they say that they cannot afford it than tell them to contact the local Lawyers in Sioux Lookout and tell them to ask them to jump on their charters that they use to fly up and do a court day.  Lawyers & Judges fly up to First Nation Communities on court days (and charge the First Nations & Federal governments for it)  You could have a court day and a MNR information day on the same day. OR you can tell them to utilize a video conference presentation with community members.  Most communities have video conferencing units and you’ll just need to contact KNet (Where I work) to say “Hey, we want to have a video conference meetinng with MNR OR we want to invite MNR to do a presentation & a Q & A with our community through video conference” Thanks to your community’s local cable plant and internet service, we (at KNet) can help you coordinate such a thing” You have more power to invite organizations,  businesses and service providers to come and do a community presentation this way.  They cannot say to you “We don’t have that capacity or we don’t know how to do a video conference” If they say that than you will just need to say “Hey! I know KNet Services can help us in that situation!” and we’d help coordinate it.  I know there is a small KNet service fee…dunno what it is…it’s not my department lol I’m just the department LOL jks I work, I work. lol and don’t sign anything! lol or don’t even sign in and give your address.  That is how they can say that you and your community have been dutifully “consulted” and they’ll come in and rip this or that out your traditional territory. I remember one story, my Cousin Roy Fiddler went to the airport and there were these barrels there. The barrels were labelled to have belonged to a certain company so he called the company and asked “What the heck are your barrels doing here? What are you guys planning?” They said they were surveying the land that surround Muskrat Dam and that they “consulted” the band.  After some investigating my Cousin found out that the company phoned the band office and spoke with the student receptionist.  They didn’t even bother speaking to the Chief and Council lol But that was good enough for this multi-million dollar company to come in and start surveying the land for their own wealth.

“Ontario’s Crown land represents 85% of the province. It provides opportunities for economic development, tourism and recreation.” – Ministry of Natural Website (Crown Land page)

So instead of fighting amongst each other for which family or which community has the right to hunt and fish where…let’s get together and tell the government “Hey! We’re here and we want to benefit from these opportunities for economic development, tourism and recreation” They just want us to keep fighting amongst ourselves so they can come up with plans to take more of our land.

Maybe your Chief and Council are already talking to the MNR about this. Maybe they have their own landuse planning in the works.  I don’t know…so maybe you don’t know either? so why not go ask? It’s your land too and you have the right to know who is planning what for it.

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