February 2, 2007

The province will provide $130,000 in funding to support ongoing
efforts to have lands east of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba and in
northwestern Ontario recognized as a world heritage site by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), Conservation Minister Stan Struthers announced today.

The grant was announced on the same day that four First Nations
and the governments of Manitoba and Ontario announced the
formation of Pimachiowin-Aki, a new, a non-profit corporation
working to secure the UNESCO designation.

“This is an area of significant cultural and natural value,” said
Struthers.  “It is a living cultural landscape for First Nations
people who have lived there for thousands of years.  It also has
a wealth of forests, lakes and habitat for threatened and
endangered species such as the woodland caribou and we support
every effort to have UNESCO recognize the site.”

The work of Pimachiowin-Aki has received administrative support
from the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
The $130,000 will allow Pimachiowin-Aki to continue its work
toward the development of a nomination for a world heritage site
over the next three years.  The investment is in addition to
$25,000 in support last year for the institute’s work with world
heritage site initiative.

The area involves about 42,000 square kilometres and includes
traditional territories of the Little Grand Rapids, Paunigassi,
Pikangikum and Poplar River First Nations. It also includes
Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba and Woodland Caribou
Provincial Park in Ontario.

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