Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug seeks to protect 1.3 million hectares – by Gary Rinne ( – November 16, 2019)

KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB INNINUWUG FIRST NATION, Ont. — The federal government has given K.I. First Nation $300,000 to work toward establishing an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, wants to prevent development within the watershed surrounding Big Trout Lake and its traditional homelands. Chief Donny Morris says that comprises an area of 1.3 million hectares.

“We will be able to practise our hunting and traditional things in this park…We just have to work to implement some rules, policies, how we’re going to run this protected area,” Morris told Tbnewswatch in an interview.

He said the federal funding to lay the groundwork will be provided in stages over three years. Morris says the project won’t be good just for his community, but will also benefit the general public in the future “to see there will be clean water, fresh water and trees. When we look at development it will be done in a way that does minimal damage.”

A spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Canada said the funding approved in August is for “capacity building.” According to Veronica Petro, that includes the identification of the lands, definition of boundaries and collection of baseline environmental data and Indigenous knowledge.

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