January 18, 2009

Manitoba’s annual funding support for the bid to designate part of the Manitoba-Ontario boreal forest as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has been doubled, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers announced today.

“With increased funding, the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation will be
able make a stronger case for Manitoba’s boreal forest to stand
alongside the pyramids of Egypt and the Amazon among UNESCO’s
World Heritage Sites,” said Struthers.  “The boreal forest plays
a vital role in reducing the impact of climate change and is also
home to wolves, bears and some of the world’s largest remaining
herds of woodland caribou.  We are pleased to support the work of
Pimachiowin Aki and help it to as part of our commitment to
communities on the east side of Lake Winnipeg.”

The minister also noted that this week Pimachiowin Aki released a
progress report on the preparation of the nomination document for
a world heritage site.  The report shows that preparations are on
track and that significant progress is being made.

The Manitoba non-profit corporation is made up of four First
Nations with Manitoba and Ontario government partners.  The total
provincial funding of $260,000 announced at Pimachiowin Aki’s
annual general meeting at Brokenhead First Nation allows the
corporation to further develop a variety of activities such as
research, management planning, community relations, and an image
collection – all requirements to prepare an in-depth nomination
proposal to submit to UNESCO.

“The Manitoba government’s support is a cornerstone to ensuring
the success of the nomination,” said Pimachiowin Aki spokesperson
Sophia Rabliauskas.  “This commitment confirms that we’re on the
right track to preserve the land that the Creator has given us
and that we can do it together.”

The Pimachiowin Aki Corporation, which is led by
the Poplar River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Pikagikum,
Ont., First Nations, has a number of projects underway that will
contribute to the final nomination document.  Extensive community
consultations, research, mapping and comprehensive
community-based, land-use planning are required to complete the
nomination.  It will include the final boundaries of the site and
will also describe the innovative ways the area will be managed
using both traditional Anishinabe and western scientific

Creating a world heritage site in the area will not change the
ownership of the land.  Each jurisdiction will be responsible for
planning and management in its area and all Aboriginal and treaty
rights will remain fully protected.

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For more information on Pimachiowin Aki Corporation, contact Gord
Jones, project manager at [email protected] or 204-275-1564 or

For more information on the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),

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