In December 2019, the Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) Community Access Road Project Team introduced an Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Program. An important part of the assessment processes is collecting IK and information on Indigenous land and resource use to help us understand existing conditions and predict the potential effects of the Project including impacts to Aboriginal and / or Treaty Rights and Interests.
The information generated through the IK Program will be used and considered equally alongside scientific approaches to:
- Describe existing environmental, social, and cultural conditions in the MFFN CAR Project area;
- Predict potential impacts on the physical and social environment, and Aboriginal and / or Treaty Rights and Interests in the MFFN CAR Project area; and
- Determine appropriate ways to avoid, minimize, and monitor potential impacts on the physical and social environment, Aboriginal and/or Treaty Rights and Interests.
The IK Program strives to collaborate with interested Indigenous communities and to discuss how relevant information will become part of the assessment processes and Project planning and design.
The IK Program involves two key ways for information gathering and sharing:
- Sharing existing and relevant IK and Indigenous land and resource use information previously collected by communities (e.g., for community-based land use planning) with the MFFN Project Team; and
- Completing Project-specific IK and Indigenous land and resource use studies to collect relevant IK and information on Indigenous land and resource use in the vicinity of the Project.
ATRI Study AreaS Updates
The Project Team wants to understand Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and Interests (ATRI) related to the project. Indigenous Knowledge and information on Indigenous Land and Resource Use will help us to better understand and appreciate the environment with respect to the identity, culture, and heritage of Indigenous Communities.
The ATRI study areas for the Community Access Road Project have recently been updated.
The MFFN CAR Project Team has been hard at work planning for the Project and has further defined the Project Development Area. The proposed Project Development Area now takes into account potential aggregate sites, temporary construction camp locations, and construction access roads.
You can download the full update here: Updated ATRI Study Areas Memo, August 2022 (3MB)
The Project Team began communicating with Indigenous Communities in December 2019, and Project funding support for those communities who have expressed an interest in participating in the IK Program began in the summer of 2021 and is on-going.
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 existing condition reports that meaningfully includes Indigenous Knowledge which is also considered in the selection of the preferred route for the Community Access Road.
To meet the study schedule and 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea Nokleby at 1-604-417-5332 or email@example.com.
Indigenous Knowledge refers to Indigenous systems of knowledge as well as cultural practices related to the production of knowledge based on traditional belief systems, relationships to the environment, and community practices. It is the accumulated and living knowledge built upon the historic experiences of Peoples living on the land and adapting to social, economic, environmental, spiritual and political change (Chiefs of Ontario, n.d.). It includes knowledge about the natural environment (e.g., locations of caribou seasonal use and calving areas), the relationships between environmental changes and species or ecosystems, and how potential effects to the environment can be avoided or reduced.
Indigenous Land and Resource Use refers to specific areas and resources used for traditional purposes when Indigenous peoples learn and practice their IK (Garvin et al., 2001). This includes the areas and sites used for hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering and the resources harvested, as well as cultural sites, features and practices. Sometimes referred to as Traditional Land Use.
IK Program Guiding Principles
Our approach to working with communities on the IK Program will be guided by the following key principles:
- We will work proactively to build relationships that are based on trust, transparency, understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect.
- The protection and incorporation of IK and Indigenous land and resource use information will be governed by IK Sharing Agreements.
- Community-specific protocols, traditional channels of authority, and levels of approval within each participating Indigenous community will be followed and respected.
- The people of your community are an important source of knowledge of the environment, past and present uses of the land and its resources within your territory and, associated cultural practices (tangible and intangible) and may hold knowledge relevant to our Project local and regional study areas.
- Our aim is to work with your community to participate in and complete the IK Program in a manner that respects your protocols and that can be meaningfully integrated into and become part of the assessment processes.
- We will strive to work with Indigenous Communities in terms of how to incorporate IK and information on Indigenous land and resource use within our local and regional study areas, as appropriate, throughout the Project assessment, planning and design processes.
Indigenous Knowledge and information on Indigenous Land and Resource Use is invaluable in that it helps us to better understand and appreciate the environment with respect to the identity, culture, and heritage of Indigenous Communities.
If your community has Indigenous Knowledge or information on Indigenous Land and Resource Use related to the Project that you would like to share or if you would like to learn more about the Indigenous Knowledge Program please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for more information on the IK Program at 1-800-764-9114 or firstname.lastname@example.org