WINNIPEG—December 22, 2009—Bloodvein River First Nation has become an active member of Pimachiowin Aki Corp. joining with four other First Nations to have a portion of the Manitoba-Ontario boreal forest designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bloodvein River’s decision means that additional lands will be added to the project planning area. Bloodvein River spokesperson William Young says he anticipates that more than 50 percent of his community’s traditional territory will be added to the 40,000 square kilometres currently in the World Heritage Site project area. Bloodvein River’s land use plan is being developed and when complete will determine exactly which part of the First Nation’s traditional area will be included within the UNESCO bid.
Located 210 kilometres north of Winnipeg, Bloodvein River First Nation sits on three kilometres of shoreline on the east side of Lake Winnipeg directly north of the Bloodvein River and is home to about 1500 residents both on and off the reserve.
Bloodvein River First Nation was an original partner in the creation of The Protected Areas and First Nation Resource Stewardship Accord, which first set out in writing the First Nations’ vision to seek UNESCO World Heritage status; however Bloodvein River has not been active on the board of directors of Pimachiowin Aki Corp.(PIM AH CHEE OW WIN AHH KEY).
Through a recent Band Council resolution, Chief Frank Young and the Council of Bloodvein River First Nation renewed its support for the World Heritage Project and Bloodvein River’s ongoing membership in Pimachiowin Aki Corp.
“Our community knows that a World Heritage Site can help protect the boreal forest and our culture. We want to be closely involved in the development of the nomination to UNESCO and in the future management of a new World Heritage Site,” says Young who joins representatives from Pikangikum First Nation of Ontario and the Manitoba communities of Poplar River, Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids; and the Manitoba and Ontario governments on the board of directors of Pimachiowin Aki Corp.
Pimachiowin Aki spokesperson Sophia Rabliauskas says everyone is pleased that Bloodvein River is participating in the process. “Having Bloodvein River fully involved allows us to do an even better job of building the nomination that will show this land deserves recognition by UNESCO,” says Rabliauskas (RAW-BLOUSE-KISS).
The UNESCO nomination document is due in 2012.