CPAWS Manitoba wishes to congratulate long-time partner in conservation Chief David Crate of Fisher River Cree Nation, who was recently inducted in the Order of Canada for his vision and leadership.
Chief Crate was recognized, in part, for his efforts to spearhead the creation of Fisher Bay Provincial Park. The Governor General’s office said this process “set the standard for community involvement in protecting and managing traditional lands and waters.”
“It was a privilege to work with Chief Crate on Fisher Bay Provincial Park,” CPAWS Manitoba Executive Director Ron Thiessen said.
“Chief Crate’s perseverance and dedication in the 12 years it took to establish the park was inspiring.”
Fisher River Cree Nation is now working with CPAWS to develop a conservation plan for a whopping 1.1 million hectares along the west shore of Lake Winnipeg north of Riverton.
“We want to make sure our grandchildren will be able to hunt, fish and swim in these pristine woods and beautiful beaches,” Chief Crate said.
“The forests, wetlands and peatlands are critical to improving the health of Lake Winnipeg–and to maintaining the commercial fishing industry that employs many of our people,” Chief Crate added. “The region also has significant untapped potential for eco-tourism and new cottage developments which would benefit from protection.”
In addition to its work on conservation, Fisher River Cree Nation is also a national leader in green energy.
Half the homes on the reserve are powered by geothermal energy, as is the school, laundromat and fitness center.
A nearly six acre solar farm–the largest operated by a First Nation in Western Canada–will begin operations in January. It will generate one megawatt, which is enough to power about 350 homes.
Chief and counsel are also working on establishing an on-reserve recycling program.
“David Crate’s vision and leadership have brought pride and prosperity to the Fisher River Cree Nation for close to three decades,” the Governor General’s office said when inducting Chief Crate into the Order of Canada.
“As chief, he has been instrumental in promoting long-term planning, facilitating partnerships that promote economic development, and improving education opportunities for his constituents.”
Find out more about how CPAWS is working with Fisher River Cree Nation on a conservation plan for the Fisher Bay area here: https://cpawsmb.orgcampaigns/fisher-bay