Self governance is at the fundamental basis of all conversations at various levels with several levels of governments, where rights of Indigenous peoples are respected.
Expansion from the ICS4 and Sakitawak Management Team currently, to include a governance structure that involves committees for decision making, meetings, gatherings, and conferences to ensure input and continued ownership. This structure will support continued work towards conservation planning and sustained management. Short term and long-term benefits include highly skilled capacity in accredited research and site-specific Boreal conservation management, locally driven, sustained green economic development, and local cultural benefits. These must be considered and consistent throughout to ensure long term sustainability of this initiative and all others that came before and will come hereafter.
The need for self governance comes after years of indifference to the concerns raised by local Métis citizens about their land, and their livelihoods. This project is not a land rights project but it is in support of the mandate of the IPCA objectives. It is a project that must focus on the human rights of the Indigenous people of Ile a la Crosse, the Métis, Cree and Dene.
Without having to look at deficit reporting and overwhelming data that outlines the percentage of people in Ile a la Crosse who are dependent on government services, whose health is at risk, and whose rates of suicide are seven times greater than non-Indigenous youth, this project aims to destabilize the years of unequal and non existent resource, revenue and knowledge sharing by industry and government with Ile a la Crosse. Any further development in forestry, fishing, tourism, and recreation must bring meaningful, gainful, high skilled employment and community participation to Ile a la Crosse. If it is led by residents of Ile a la Crosse, the benefits will be real and exponential to all involved. This is the intent of this project, mandated by the Government of Canada under the Target I – Challenge Fund.