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Learn about the concerns raised by the Minegoziibe Anishinabe Chief and Council regarding the forest management plan impacting their lands. Stay informed and support efforts to protect heritage and Treaty rights.


Winnipeg, February 14th 2024.

Three Manitoba First Nations are demanding the Manitoba government take urgent action to protect their lands and Treaty rights from the devastating impacts of commercial timber harvesting.
For almost two decades, Manitoba has allowed US-based logging company Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. to harvest timber in the
heart of the First Nations’ territories without an approved, long-term forest management plan as required under the Province’s
regulatory regime. The area includes Duck Mountain Provincial Park, one of only two provincial parks in the country where
commercial logging is still permitted. It also includes the Kettle Hills area, a location of major cultural significance which is largely
untouched by logging.

Now, Manitoba is poised to approve a 20-year forest management plan on March 31, 2024, despite recent studies highlighting
significant deficiencies in the plan and its goal of substantive forestry development within the Kettle Hills area.

“In 2012 Manitoba agreed to consider other logging practices to protect moose habitat,” said Minegoziibe Anishinabe Chief Derek
Nepinak. “More than 12 years later Manitoba is still without a viable plan. This failure has negative impacts on our ability to bring our traditional healthy foods home to our families.”

The shortcomings in the proposed forest management have been known for years and have been discussed at length after the First Nations, Manitoba and Louisiana-Pacific established a working group in 2022 in response to the First Nations’ concerns about the effects of forestry on their territories.

As part of the working group, the First Nations retained a series of independent experts to determine the credibility and impacts of the plan and current logging practices on traditional lands. The studies show that the plan is based on bad methodology, inadequate
baseline information, and flawed assumptions about the long-term effects of forestry.

“The studies confirm what our members have been saying all along,” said Chief Elwood Zastre of Wuskiwi Sipihk First Nation. “We’ve already seen firsthand how logging affects wildlife in our territory. If Manitoba approves this plan we will be faced with another 20 years of impacts on our culture and rights.”

The First Nations are asking Manitoba to take immediate steps to rectify the shortcomings in the forest management plan, establish
enforceable measures to protect Treaty rights, and to commit to ensuring the First Nations benefit from and are involved in decision-making before authorizing any further forestry activities in their territories.

“The days of Manitoba putting the interests of companies over the rights of First Nations needs to end now,” said Chief Nelson Genaille of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. “It’s time for Manitoba to do the right thing. That means stepping up and protecting our lands and our Treaty rights.”

Minegoziibe Anishinaabe, Treaty 4 Territory, is located 110 kilometres north of Dauphin, Manitoba and includes 5,250 Anishinaabeg

Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation (WSFN), Treaty 4, is located Northeast of Birch River, Manitoba along the western shores of Swan Lake,
approximately 554 Kilometers Northwest of Winnipeg.

Sapotaweyak Cree Nation (SCN), Treaty 4, is located in central Manitoba Northeast of Swan River, approximately 594 Kilometers
North of Winnipeg.

Media Contact
Joëlle Pastora Sala, Attorney
Public Interest Law Centre