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


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.