Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) Community Access Road

January 2023 update
Current and upcoming activities

Archaeological Assessment Report

a person in reflective vest bending down to collect samples from the environment

The Stage 1 archaeological assessment report for the MFFN Community Access Road Project is complete. The objective of this report is to document the archaeological potential of the local study area based on its natural history, past and current land use and present-day environmental conditions. This information is used to support recommendations regarding cultural heritage values or interests as well as assessment and mitigation strategies.

The report will be shared with Indigenous communities, Provincial Territorial Organizations and Tribal Councils in early February. If you are interested in learning more about this document or the archaeology and cultural heritage program, please contact us.

If you know of any culturally significant areas, plants, water bodies or important fishing / hunting / gathering locations in the study area that our field teams should avoid in the remainder of our field programs, please let us know.​

If you’re interested in learning more, watch our recent webinar on the topic here.

2022 MFFN Field Support Staff Update

Earlier this month, Matt Bovin and Levi Baxter of MFFN joined field crew members for Wilderness Survival Training as part of their role as MFFN Field Support Staff on field study programs. Wilderness survival training included building a shelter and sleeping in it overnight. Matt and Levi will accompany Project consultants on upcoming field studies.

Thank you for your support with the MFFN Community Access Road field studies; we’re lucky to have you!

MFF support staff in the winter field

Public Information Centre #4 – Deadline for feedback extended!

Public Information Centre #4 (PIC #4) was held in Thunder Bay and Geraldton in December. The PIC included updates and information on the Effects Assessment Methods Milestone. The meeting provided an opportunity for Indigenous community members and the public to learn more about the planning process and share feedback, ideas and values related to the proposed all season access road. Engagement materials are available here. Please share your feedback by February 10, 2023.

Aboriginal and/or Treaty Rights and Interests

The Province of Ontario is hosting a 2-day forum on Aboriginal and/or Treaty Rights and Interests (ATRI) in Thunder Bay on February 8 & 9, 2023. The focus of this forum is to create a respectful, culturally sensitive, and collaborative space to discuss potential impacts to northern Indigenous communities' ATRI as they relate to the Community Access Road Project.

Representatives from the MFFN CAR Project Team will be available to meet with you one-on-one to discuss ATRI.  In addition, we will be hosting a Cultural Heritage workshop for all communities who have identified interests within the Project study area.

For information on participant funding and to RSVP, please contact ea.participant.fund@ontario.ca or please contact Andrea Nokleby at anokleby@dillon.ca.

Timeline Extension Approved for the Impact Statement

The Community Access Road Project is subject to a federal Impact Assessment, which requires an Impact Statement within three years of the Notice of Commencement of the Impact Assessment. The Community Access Road Project has been approved for a 3.5-year extension, shifting the submission date to July 24, 2026. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada has posted information on this approval here: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80184?culture=en-CA

If you have any questions, please contact IAAC directly.

Winter Field Study Updates and Upcoming Programs

  • Furbearer Winter Tracking Surveys
    Now that the weather conditions are favourable, field crews began this program on Sunday, January 29, 2023. Field crews will be out for five days, however, the program may be extended in the event of weather delays. If you are in the study area, you may notice an increase in air traffic as the study area will be accessed by helicopter during this program. See the Field Notice for more information on the Furbearer Winter Tracking surveys.
  • The Bird Autonomous Recording Unit (ARU) Program
    The program is now complete and the ARUs were retrieved from the field January 8 to 11, 2023. We look forward to sharing results with you once the data is analyzed.​ See the Field Notice for more information on the Bird ARU program.
  • Wolverine (wishkobishag, wiingwa’waake) Hair Snag Surveys
    The first trip for this program will be completed from January 31 to February 14, 2023. Field crews will be operating between Geraldton and Marten Falls First Nation via helicopter. Field crews will be returning monthly between deployment and June to rebait hair snag traps. See the Field Notice on our website for more information about the wolverine hair snag field program.

The following programs will occur between February and May 2023, with exact dates being provided once confirmed:

  • Winter Ungulate Aerial Surveys (anticipated February 2023)
  • Collared Caribou (atigwag) Mortality Investigations (as needed)
  • Ungulate Remote Camera Program
  • Groundwater and Geochemistry Program (as early as March)
    • The groundwater drilling could not be completed at all sites in 2022. Drilling of the remaining sites will be conducted as early as March 2023.

Check out the related field program notices for more details, watch videos and fill out Discussion Guides.

*Timelines and programs are approximate and may shift; we will provide updates as required.

people setting up hair snag
winter snow terrain

MFFN CAR Webinar Series

surface water, fish habitat and fish webinar cover image

The MFFN CAR Webinar Series is well underway! We have held four webinars to date and there are more to come.

To learn about and register for upcoming webinars visit, the Get Involved page. Our next webinar is on Peatlands and will take place on Tuesday January 31 at 4:00 PM EST. Join us live!

Recordings are available on the following topics: Animals & Wildlife, Surface Water, Fish and Fish Habitat, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, and Vegetation and Physiography. Watch the recordings here.

We Value Your Feedback

Please contact us at any time with questions or comments, or to schedule a meeting. Meetings can be arranged in-person in any community, in the Thunder Bay area, or online. We want to hear what you have to say!

Questions or comments? Contact us at 1-800-764-9114 or info@martenfallsaccessroad.ca.

 

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