For Immediate Release
(August 19th, 2022) The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) says the Government of Manitoba have begun to change their approach to how they consult and engage with First Nations that will be affected by the proposed Outlet channels project.
This recent development sparked a meeting that was held at Pinaymootang First Nation on the 17th of August 2022. The Government of Manitoba, in a press statement released afterwards, acknowledged that they had fallen short in its responsibilities to “collaborate fully in the true spirit and intent of reconciliation”. Present at the meeting were all the Chiefs of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council, Minister Allan Lagimodiere, and Minister Doyle Piwniuk.
Indeed, in the last several months, the province has taken a more collaborative stance in engaging with First Nations on the proposed channels project. Speaking on this recent development, Karl Zadnik, CEO for IRTC, says “We are pleased that MTI, the Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations, and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure have begun to change their approach to consultation and accommodation. Importantly, we were happy to hear that a path forward based on honesty, trust, and respect will be charted. Specific issues, however, would need to be addressed. For instance, the discovered indigenous village sites will require that the channel inlet be redesigned. Furthermore, lingering issues such as the Rights Impact and Socio-economic Impacts Assessment studies have not been done.
“These studies, Karl continued, are crucial to understanding project impacts. For these reasons and more, we ask that the Government of Manitoba and the Ministers commit to co-managing the proposed channels operations with our communities. And consistent with the notion of ‘Namwayut’, we ask that they commit to true economic reconciliation”.
At the meeting, the IRTC leadership also expressed their interest in working with the Government of Manitoba in addressing all the identified project gaps – and are willing to do so as true partners.
Chief Cornell McLean, of Lake Manitoba First Nation and Chair of the IRTC, adds,” We heard very encouraging words at today’s meeting. Of course, it remains to be seen whether these are just polite words and whether the province is truly committed to real reconciliation and accommodation. As I have repeatedly said, we are prepared to work with MTI as true partners”.
The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Inc. (IRTC) is a partnership of six Manitoba Interlake First Nations working together to advance our collective well-being. IRTC includes Dauphin River, Kinonjeoshtegon, Lake Manitoba, Little Saskatchewan, Peguis and Pinaymootang First Nations.
Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer, IRTC | email@example.com | (204) 795 4747