Environment & Climate Change

Minister: JoAnne Remillard
Associate Minister: Peter Fleming

Environment

Historically the Red River Métis have been deeply connected to environment including its lands and waters which lie within the National Homeland. Contemporarily many Red River Métis Citizens work closely within, and rely heavily on, our environment to provide a livelihood, sustenance, and the ability to practice traditional Métis culture. Your Métis Government understands the importance of protecting and conserving our traditional territory and beyond. It is imperative the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) works to ensure our environment is protected for ourselves and future generations. Without a healthy, sustainable environment, it is not possible to continue many of our traditional social and economic practices or exercise our Métis rights.

The Ministers responsible for the Environment & Climate Change Portfolio will continue to establish and explore traditional methods of stewardship undertaken by our ancestors to cultivate a future that allows for the continued and lasting culture of the Red River Métis across the National Homeland. Your Métis Government has the unique opportunity to bridge the generational divide between the traditional practices of our Elders and the adaptive and innovative perspectives of our Youth to ensure that together, the prosperity of our Nation is upheld, and our environment is protected. We are committed to working collaboratively to ensure our rights are upheld, and all issues concerning the environment are given the utmost attention. With this in mind, the Environment & Climate Change Portfolio, through the MMF's Energy, Infrastructure & Resource Management Department, is working on several environment-related files, including the following:



Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop

The federal government implemented carbon pricing in Manitoba on April 1, 2019, beginning at a rate of $20/tonne increasing by $10/tonne annually until it reaches $50/tonne by 2022. Of these revenues, 90% will be returned to individuals through taxation, while 10% will be distributed through programs to help small businesses, schools, universities, and Indigenous communities pursue environmental initiatives.

Your Métis Government is currently working with Canada on the allocation of funding on this project. Initial objectives will include work on the MMF's Community Based Climate Monitoring Program, the creation of a Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan to better prepare our community for climate change impacts, and emergency response and disaster management planning related to fl ooding, forest fi res, and food security.

Red River Métis Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Plan

The MMF, utilizing the funding commitment from the federal carbon backstop, will support Red River Métis climate change adaptation and resiliency priorities with a focus on the current and future impacts of climate change, the development of a recommendations report on key climate change issues - such as impacts to health, harvesting practices, and other culturally significant practices that may experience impacts - while also supporting land-based traditional knowledge education.

Food security, emergency management, disaster mitigation, fostering intergenerational relationships between our Elders and Youth, as well as our Youth and Harvesters providing educational and skills developing opportunities remain key priorities for this Portfolio.

We are always looking for interested Métis Citizens, Elders, Youth, and Harvesters who want to be involved in environment and climate change-related programming. For more information on MMF Environment and Climate Change programming, please contact Marci Riel via email at marci.riel@mmf.mb.ca.

Red River Métis Stewards of the Homeland Program

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) has funding through Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) Indigenous Guardians Program; this federal program supports "Indigenous rights and responsibilities in protecting and conserving ecosystems, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between natural landscapes and Indigenous cultures."

The Red River Métis Stewards of the Homeland Program (RRM SOHP) is actively working to conserve, protect, and restore the National Homeland of the Red River Métis for the continued prosperity of the environment - the land and waters in which Red River Métis rely on for livelihood and sustenance. Red River Métis Citizens will have the opportunity to be involved every step of the way from:

  1. Project prioritization through the gathering and analysis of traditional knowledge,
  2. On-the-land implementation of traditional methods of stewardship and western science practices, and
  3. In an Annual Gathering showcasing the work completed to date, the traditional practices and perspectives of our Elders, and the adaptive, innovative perspectives of our Youth.

In addition, there will lie an opportunity to become a certified 'Red River Métis Steward of the Homeland'; this certification will involve Métis Cultural, Emergency Response, Equipment Operation, and Harvesting Safety Training. The certification will provide unique opportunities to assist the MMF on various field projects across the National Homeland of the Red River Métis and lead land-based educational workshops for Youth directly in your community.

For more information on the Red River Métis Stewards of the Homeland Program or to get on a list for the certification program, please contact stewards@mmf.mb.ca.

Ecosystem Integrity

Historically, the Red River Métis have been deeply connected to the environment including its lands and waters which lie within the National Homeland. Contemporarily many Red River Métis Citizens work closely within, and rely heavily on, the environment to provide livelihood, sustenance, and the ability to practice traditional Métis culture. Your National Red River Métis Government understands the importance of protecting and conserving our traditional territory and beyond and staying up-to-date on Red River Métis perspectives.

It is for this reason that the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) needs your input on how Red River Métis define 'Ecosystem Integrity'. This definition will stand parallel to other national definitions with a direct Red River Métis focus and guide methods for protecting a healthy, sustainable environment, that supports Red River Métis traditional, social, and economic practices. Another integral part of the environment, and an area we need your input on, are the species of importance and/or concern to the Red River Métis; this input will ensure the right resources are put in place for species that matter most to our communities. The short, 7 question survey will be approximately 5-10 minutes long and an honorarium will be provided to Red River Métis Citizens who complete the survey in full, see link below:

Tell us what 'Ecosystem Integrity' means to you and inform us of species of concern to Red River Métis here: https://arcg.is/1u94H0.

Ongoing, long-term assessments for ecosystem integrity will inform future decisions for conservation, protection, and restoration projects across the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. These projects will be guided by the Manitoba Métis Federation and conducted with 'Red River Métis Stewards of the Homeland' through the Red River Métis Stewards of the Homeland Program. It is imperative the MMF works to ensure our environment is protected for ourselves and future generations. Without a healthy, sustainable environment, it is not possible to continue many of our traditional social and economic practices or exercise our Red River Métis rights.

If you have questions regarding the survey, are interested in this work, or would simply like to learn more, please contact the Stewards of the Homeland Program at stewards@mmf.mb.ca.

Métis Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program

This program is funded through the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

The Métis Community-Based Monitoring Program braids western science with Traditional Knowledge, to collect and monitor climate and environmental changes across the National Homeland. With Red River Métis Citizen Scientists as the primary data collectors, the MMF provides training and equipment for various kinds of environmental monitoring, to ensure capacity building within the Regions and knowledge sharing opportunities for Red River Métis Citizens. Current programming under the Métis Community-Based Monitoring Network includes the Wetland Monitoring Program, Water Quality Monitoring Program, and Winter Monitoring Program. All monitoring programs use the application Survey123 to submit surveys which makes it accessible for all MMF Regions, including those beyond borders.

Visit MMF Community-Based Monitoring Program to watch the online environmental monitoring protocols and techniques.

This program works closely with the Red River Métis Stewards of the Homeland and Métis Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow to fulfill the objectives outlined in the Mandate Letters for the Environment and Climate Change Minister and Associate Minister. This includes engaging our Red River Métis Citizens on the rapidly changing climate and its impacts on Villages and Settlements, while promoting climate change education and awareness through land-based education. If you would like more information on the program and/or are interested in becoming a Red River Métis Citizen Scientist, please contact our Métis Climate Monitoring Coordinator, Phoenix Combe, at phoenix.combe@mmf.mb.ca

Red River Métis Citizen Scientist Application Form

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Weather Keeper Program

This program is funded through the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The Weather Keeper Program is in partnership with the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba, to collect and monitor atmospheric data across the National Homeland. This monitoring network works closely with Red River Métis Citizens and MMF Locals, who live on and/or near waterbodies, to maintain meteorological stations for real-time climate data collection, which is then displayed on the MMF Webpage. Currently, there are weather stations in St.Laurent (Interlake Region) and Dawson Bay (The Pas Region).

Visit /weather-dashboard to view the St Laurent Weather Station Data.
Visit Weather Keeper Project to learn more about this partnership with University of Manitoba.

This program will provide information on land-use changes and variability in weather, along with insight into the local and regional effects of climate change. If you would like more information on the program and/or interested in housing a weather station, please contact our Métis Climate Monitoring Coordinator, Phoenix Combe, at phoenix.combe@mmf.mb.ca

Weather Station Application Form

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Métis Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow (MELT)

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) has funding through Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) Climate Action and Awareness Fund to support the Métis Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow (MELT) Program; this funding is for projects that encourage school-aged youth awareness, engagement and action on climate change issues and solutions.

The MELT Program actively works on the creation and implementation of land-based learning events for Red River Métis Youth, kindergarten to grade 12. These events blend Red River Métis traditional knowledge with western science and methodologies to teach youth about climate change, and how they can implement climate action in their lives and communities. Red River Métis Youth and Citizens will have the opportunity to be involved in many ways, including:

  1. Kindergarten to grade 12 youth can attend camps and events,
  2. Red River Métis land users and harvesters can participate as knowledge holders and share the changes they have seen on the lands and waters, and
  3. At the Annual Climate Symposium, sharing knowledge and showcasing the work they are doing towards climate action.

As well, MELT works to create and maintain partnerships within schools and educational institutes which allow the delivery climate-focused education programs from a Red River Métis perspective. We are always happy to discuss new partnerships in order to increase awareness and education.

If you would like more information or are interested in participating or partnering, please contact melt@mmf.mb.ca.

Water Monitoring and Aquatic Ecosystem Health

The Red River Métis have always been deeply connected to the water, for drinking, commercial and recreational fishing, and when using rivers for transportation. Water quality has consistently been identified as a main priority of Citizens during community meetings, Traditional Knowledge interviews, outreach surveys, and consultation discussions.

Below is some of the work the MMF has been involved in around water quality, water quantity, and aquatic ecosystem health across the National Homeland.

1. MMF's Water Monitoring Program: samples lakes, rivers, and streams across the National Homeland, with the help of dedicated Red River Métis Citizen Scientists from the Métis Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program. The MMF also supports the Enbridge Riverwatch Program by sampling sites along the Seine River and Assiniboine River, and assists the Lake Winnipeg Foundation by monitoring phosporus loading and salinity concentrations in Lake Winnipeg Basin.

2. Seine River Restoration Project: works with Save Our Seine (SOS) to restore and enhance the riparian areas along the Seine River in Winnipeg, Manitoba. MMF staff and summer students will partake in burdock clean up, clearing of pollutants from water, and other restoration activities.

3. Cross-Boundary Water Relations:

a) International Joint Commission (IJC): the MMF has been involved with the IJC on transboundary discussions for waterways crossing the United States and Canada. The MMF has been appointed to various Boards, including the International Souris River Board and International Red River Watershed Board. This allows the MMF to advocate for rights, interests, and claims of the Red River Métis, specifically around water quality and water quantity in the National Homeland

b) Canada Water Agency: the MMF was consulted by Environment and Climate Change Canada on the creation of the Canada Water Agency. This integrated approach to water management will involve the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists, and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean, and well-managed.

4. Safe Drinking Water Initiative: the MMF is working to develop the Safe Drinking Water Initiative which will test drinking water in the MMF Locals of each Region. The goal will be to identify and highlight any issues with the water our Red River Métis Citizens consume, and to share these results with the Locals and Regions for follow-up by the MMF. We are looking forward to working with the Local Chairs and their Regions to ensure our Citizens are consuming clean and safe drinking water.

If you would like more information or are interested in any of these programs, please contact Métis Climate Monitoring Coordinator, Phoenix Combe, at phoenix.combe@mmf.mb.ca.

Red River Métis Climate Symposium

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is hosting its 2nd Annual Red River Métis Climate Symposium on February 2nd - 4th, 2024.This year's theme is "Climate Adaptation and Resiliency" and will see Red River Métis Youth, Citizens, and Elders gathered together to:

  • Discuss climate change
  • Highlight the Manitoba Métis Federation's work towards climate adaptation and resiliency and how Red River Métis Citizens can get involved
  • Draw attention to careers in the environmental field
  • Share traditional Red River Métis cultural practices
  • Hear directly from Red River Métis Citizens about their experiences on-the-land and/or in their research

There are 2 options to get involved in the 2024 Climate Symposium:

  1. Provide a presentation! Red River Métis would like to hear directly from fellow Citizens. Please complete the following (2024 Climate Symposium Abstract Submission Form) in full and submit to stewards@mmf.mb.ca. Deadline to submit is January 5, 2024, successful applicants will be notified January 10, 2024.
  2. Register to attend! There is a focus on Red River Métis Youth participation; however, the symposium is open for all Citizens (ages 14+). Submit your registration to attend at 2024 RRM Climate Symposium Registration)

B300-150 Henry Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 0J7

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