Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) Community Access Road

February 2023 update
Current and upcoming activities

Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Program Timeline Update

The Project Team first engaged Indigenous Communities in December 2019 about the IK Program. Project funding support to communities who expressed an interest in participating in the Program began in the summer of 2020 and is on-going. 

IK received through the IK Program will allow for a more complete, robust, and accurate picture of the Community Access Road Project area to emerge. Our goal this year is to create a draft existing condition report that meaningfully includes IK. The report will be considered when selecting the preferred route for the Community Access Road.  

To meet the study schedule and to help ensure the inclusion of IK in the draft existing condition report, it is critical that IK and information on Indigenous Land and Resource Use be shared with the MFFN CAR Project Team by June 30, 2023. 

If your community has IK or information on Indigenous Land and Resource Use related to the Community Access Road Project that you would like to share please do not hesitate to reach out to Bob Baxter at 1-807-628-7553 or or Andrea Nokleby at 1-604-417-5332 or 

MFFN Community Access Road at the ATRI Forum and Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Workshop

Earlier this month, the provincial government hosted the Aboriginal and/or Treaty Rights and Interests (ATRI) Forum in Thunder Bay. The purpose of the forum was to create a respectful, culturally sensitive, and collaborative space to develop an understanding of Aboriginal and/or Treaty Rights and Interests in any of the Project areas of the Webequie Supply Road, Northern Road Link and the MFFN Community Access Road.

Members of the Cultural Heritage and Archaeology teams for the Community Access Road were also present for all communities who have identified interests within the Project study area.

Thank you to all who were able to participate in the forum. If your community or organization is interested in a meeting to talk about ATRI, please reach out to Andrea Nokleby at 1-604-417-5332 or 

Winter Field Study Updates and Upcoming Programs

  • Wolverine (wishkobishag, wiingwa’waake) Hair Snag Surveys
    The first trip for this program was completed earlier this month. Field crews deployed 54 hair snag stations during their five days in the field. The next hair snag rebait is currently scheduled for March. 

See the Field Notice on our website for more information about the wolverine hair snag field program.  

  • Winter Ungulate Aerial Surveys were completed in February

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

  • Groundwater and Geochemistry Program  
  • 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.  
  • Field crews will be conducting wolverine denning reconnaissance in advance of the groundwater and geochemistry drilling. Wolverine denning reconnaissance will occur in March; a Field Notice will be distributed shortly with more information.   
  • Collared Caribou (atigwag) Mortality Investigations (as needed) 
  • Ungulate Remote Camera Program

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. 

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Field Study Spotlight: Use of Traditional Snowshoes

The 2020/2021 field season had greater than normal snow falls and periods of extreme freezing. A loosely packed snow base resulted in team members sinking waist deep in the snow. These challenges were shared with the Project Team and Senior Community Member Advisor Bob Baxter suggested the use of traditional snowshoes in the field. Traditional snowshoes have a wider base and, in his experience, are better suited for these challenging conditions. The snowshoe design is an Ojibway tear drop with sinew base.

In preparation for the 2022/2023 furbearer tracking program, we solicited Bob’s support in finding traditional snowshoes for our team to use. Although we couldn’t source traditional snowshoes for the entire team, Bob was able to bring his. While the snow conditions were different from 2021/2022, Bob’s use of the traditional snowshoes did bring benefits to the field crew team. With the younger crew member leading and Bob in the middle, our rear crew member appreciated the large footprint with the minimal sinkage created by Bob’s traditional snowshoes.

field support staff walk on snow with traditional snowshoes
field support staff walking in a snowy field
traditional snowshoes used by a field support staff

MFFN CAR Webinar Series

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The MFFN CAR Webinar Series on the Project’s various studies is well underway! We've held seven 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 covers the Project’s Socio-Economic studies including Socio-Community, Human Health and Community Safety and will take place on Tuesday February 28 at 4:00 PM EST. Join us live!

Unable to attend webinars live? Recordings of all past webinars are available here.

If your community or organization is interested in a meeting to talk about our studies, reach out to book a meeting.

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   

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