CIER Newsletter April 2019
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Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources

April 2019

...Our family of Relations [our Brothers and Sisters, the creatures; our Cousins, the plants and stones; our Father, the sky; and our Mother, the Earth] are always waiting for us to come share the beauty of the natural world. When we rediscover their company, we are never alone.
- Jamie Sams
Earth Medicine Ancestors Ways of Harmony for Many Moons, 1994


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on L I N K E D I N
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
D O N A T E to C I E R


Canupawakpa Solid Waste Needs Assessment
CIER has been working with Canupawakpa Dakota Nation since June 2018 to help assess their solid waste needs, and help develop a plan for improved waste management and diversion. Two key outputs of this work was the preparation of a Solid Waste Management Plan and an Investment Plan, which outlines the staffing requirements, equipment needs, capital investments and community outreach activities required to ensure garbage and recycling are handled in a sustainable way.

Some of the outcomes of this work have included:
  • Hiring of Full-Time Solid Waste Coordinators
  • Launch of household recycling program and Eco-Depot
  • Equipment purchases, such as waste trailer, waste bins, spill kits
  • Registration with five of the environmental stewardship organizations
  • Four Community outreach events
  • Recycling drive
  • Capacity building through training and mentorship

Gathering for Health & Cultural Safety During Evacuations

March 20-21, 2019, Winnipeg, MB

In March, CIER partnered up with the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba to facilitate a 1.5 day gathering to hear stories from community members that have experienced evacuation. Funded through the Climate Change Health and Adaptation Program, this gathering focused learning from community members that have experienced evacuation due to fires, flood, etc. and explored ways to improve evacuation processes and provide better mental health and cultural safety supports. 

The gathering was held at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre in Winnipeg, and had approximately 50 attendees representing 15 different First Nations communities in Manitoba. Participants shared their stories, and provided suggestions on how services can be improved. CIER will be preparing a plain language document for all participants, and will be submitting a final report to Indigenous Services Canada with recommendations on ways to improve evacuation planning for First Nations and improve services and supports to community members that experience evacuation.

Water Security for Canadians Initiative

On April 11, CIER and partners co-hosted the Water Security for Canadians: solutions for Canada’s water crisis forum in Ottawa. Attended by over 100 MPs from all political parties and senior government staff, this national forum focused on the future of water security, including discussion on the scientific evidence of worsening water sustainability, climate-related water crises, and the science and policy solutions needed to adapt to the new climate and water realities across the country. 
Water Security for Canadians Initiative is a collaboration of scientists and policy experts, including CIER, who have come together to analyze Canada’s emerging water crisis, and to chart a path forward. The focus is on outlining how the federal government can provide leadership and better exercise its jurisdiction to help prevent Canada’s emerging water crisis, including through the improved support for implementation of Indigenous inherent, Aboriginal and treaty water rights and roles in water governance and management.


For additional information visit the Global Water Futures website

Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Planning Toolkit

On April 2, the Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation (ICCAP) Toolkit project team held their first Steering Committee meeting in Winnipeg. The goal of the ICCAP Toolkit is to develop a suite of relevant resources that Indigenous communities can use to support climate change adaptation planning efforts in their communities. The Steering Committee – comprised of climate change and community experts - provides advice to the project team on how to ensure the toolkit is useful for Indigenous communities.   

Participants spent the day brainstorming each component of the toolkit: an infrastructure guidance document, an Indigenous Knowledge and language glossary, and updates to CIER’s climate change planning guidebooks. The ICCAP Toolkit project team received helpful feedback from the Steering Committee members and Elders Barbara and Clarence Nepinak who shared their insights and experiences. Building on the momentum of our meeting, we are excited to continue developing the toolkit and look forward to sharing more updates in the near future!


Miinegoziibe Pimadezewin Pine Creek Elder-led Arts and Cultural Program 

The Miinegoziibe Pimadezewin Pine Creek First Nation Elder-led Arts and Cultural  program has been active in the community since October 2018 and to date, has completed arts and cultural activities such as beading (lanyards, keychains, earrings, miniature headdresses) and making dreamcatchers, traditional hand drums, moccasins, starblankets, and traditional ribbon skirts. 

Future sessions will include, traditional men’s ribbon shirts, knitting scarves, paint nights, painting hand drums, drum singing, traditional storytelling, traditional food preparation and more focused youth- Elder activities.   This program is generously funded by the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources.  The program is led by a 10 Elder member committee, coordinated by Gilbert Flatfoot, and managed by the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. 

Point Grondine Park Management Plan

CIER is working with Wikwemikoong First Nation to create the Point Grondine Park Management Plan. Point Grondine Park is the first park of its kind in Canada, as it is a wilderness tourism park owned by a First Nation and created using their reserve lands. 

To learn more, visit the Point Grondine Park website

Learning from the Land

CIER is supporting Learning from the Land, in the City, a new series of seasonal walks bringing together experts from the worlds of design, ecology, and community development to explore holistic ways of thinking about urban environmental issues and solutions.
This series of four seasonal walking tours will explore connections between people, places, and Winnipeg’s urban ecosystems:
  • Spring: Return of the Floodwaters – Saturday, April 27 / 10am – 12pm
  • Summer: Urban Forests and Habitats – June 2019
  • Fall: Food Webs and Food Security – September 2019
  • Winter: Energy and the Cosmic Whole – January 2020
On Saturday, April 27th, the first walk in this series will explore water systems in Winnipeg, spring thaw, and return of the floodwaters. Gathering on the flooded banks of the Red River along Waterfront Drive, this walk will bring together local leaders to talk about:
  • The traditional, cultural, and spiritual significance of water for Indigenous peoples
  • The geological history of the Red River and Assiniboine watersheds
  • The annual cycle of flooding and its importance for the health of ecosystems
  • Colonization and the ways that urban development has changed the rivers
  • Winnipeg’s aqueduct and its devastating impacts on the Shoal Lake 40 community
  • The downstream impacts of storm-water runoff and sewage spills into the Red River
  • Green infrastructure solutions that can help cities manage water in more resilient ways
The walk is open to the public and free to attend, but space is limited. Tickets must be reserved by visiting 
Learning from the Land, in the City is independently organized by Matt Carreau (HTFC Planning + Design) and Marika Olynyk (Nature Conservancy of Canada, Manitoba Region). This project is supported by the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, HTFC Planning + Design, Green Action Centre, and other sponsors.
CIER's ultimate impact will be realized when First Nations in Canada are leaders of positive environmental change.  They will use the best of western and Indigenous Knowledge to create a world that is in balance and supports the well-being of all living things. 
Copyright © 2019 Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 26092, RPO Maryland, Winnipeg Manitoba, R3G 3R3

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Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, Inc. · PO Box 26092, RPO Maryland · Winnipeg, MB R3G 3R3 · Canada

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