Heritage bid gets $30,000 from U.S. foundation

July 13, 2009

WINNIPEG — An American charitable foundation is giving $30,000 to help secure a UNESCO World heritage designation for Manitoba’s boreal forest.

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has donated the money to the University of Winnipeg on condition that it be used to help the First Nation communities of Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi develop management plans for their traditional territories and to help identify the lands to be included in the UNESCO nomination.

The U of W will administer the project for the foundation.

Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said the MacArthur contribution confirms the government’s position that the UNESCO bid has international support.

Struthers said the Doer government has committed $531,000 this year for the UNESCO bid.

The UNESCO bid has been made by a local native group. If successful, the boreal forest that straddles the Manitoba-Ontario forest will join recognized sites like the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and Pyramids of Giza on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

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