Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) Community Access Road
April 2023 update
Current and upcoming activities
Farewell to one of our MFFN Community Coordinators
In 2022, we were happy to welcome Susanna Baxter as one of the MFFN Community Access Road Community Coordinators. Susanna brought her insights and experience as a MFFN community member to the team and helped share updates on the planning and outreach activities for the access road. Susanna accepted a new position elsewhere but still actively working in the community as Education Director and we wish her all the best.
Susanna shared some parting words:
"I have enjoyed my time working with the MFFN Community Access Road project. I feel it’s very important work and I was happy to be part of it.
I would have worked at this job for longer, I felt a pull in a different direction. I have always been passionate about education and my community. I am now working as the Education Director for my community of Marten Falls, so I won’t be too far away.
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support while I was in this role. I’ll miss you all, but I’ll see you around, I’m sure. I’m not going anywhere. You have a wonderful team to work with that I know will continue to grow.”
Thank you, Susanna, for your hard work and best of luck in your new endeavors! We look forward to collaborating with you again in the future as the Community Access Road progresses through the Environmental Assessment Process.
Indigenous Knowledge Program
Indigenous Knowledge is an important part of the assessment processes for the Community Access Road. Indigenous Knowledge received through the Indigenous Knowledge Program will allow for a more complete, robust, and accurate picture of the Project area to emerge. Our goal is to create an existing conditions report that meaningfully includes Indigenous Knowledge which is also considered in the selection of the preferred route for the Community Access Road this fall.
To help ensure the inclusion of this information in the draft existing conditions report, it is critical that Indigenous Knowledge and information on Indigenous Land and Resource Use be shared with the MFFN CAR Project Team by June 2023.
If your community has Indigenous Knowledge 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea Nokleby at 1-604-417-5332 or email@example.com .
Spring Field Studies
A reminder that spring 2023 field studies for the MFFN Community Access Road Project are continuing.
See the Field Notice on our website for more information the spring field studies.
Upcoming field studies include:
- Cultural Heritage (May) — Field crews will be surveying built heritage and cultural heritage resources in the study area. Surveys will be non-invasive and consist of photographic and written documentation, and community-based interviews.
- Vegetation and Peatlands Aerial and Ground Surveys (June) — Field crews will be visually observing and documenting plant communities and wetland areas throughout the study area. Observations will be made from the air in helicopters and on the ground.
- Ungulate Remote Camera Program (May) — Remote cameras for the ungulate remote camera program will be retrieved from the field this spring. Cameras have been in the field for two years documenting presence, distribution and seasonal patterns of wolves (maihganang), moose (moozoog) and other wildlife.
- Groundwater and Geochemistry Program (late May / early June) — Groundwater drilling started on April 10 and activities are expected to be completed by April 30. The groundwater sampling program is also expected to start in late May / early June.Due to the presence of wolverine in the study area, a second round of groundwater drilling will be completed outside of the wolverine denning period. Drilling is required for two sites and is planned to start in early June. A schedule will be provided once confirmed.
- Wolverine (wishkobishag, wiingwa’waake) Hair Snag Surveys (Ongoing as needed) — Hair snag rebaits took place in in April, staged out of Geraldton took 6 to 10 days to complete. This program is ongoing as needed until late spring.
- Socio-Economic and Human Health (May / June) — The socio-economic and human health team will be conducting interviews and focus groups in MFFN and Thunder Bay with MFFN members in May and June 2023.
Field crews will include MFFN community member Field Assistants or Community Member Advisors.
*Timelines and programs are approximate and may shift; we will provide updates as required.