Environment

Minister: JoAnne Remillard
Associate Minister: Peter Fleming

The Red River Métis have historically had close connections to the lands, waters, and environment within our traditional territory - the Métis Nation Homeland. To this day, many Métis Citizens work closely with, and rely strongly on, our environment for day-to-day livelihood, sustenance, and cultural purposes. It is imperative that the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) works to ensure our environment is protected for ourselves as well as 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.

As the Ministers responsible for Environment, it is our responsibility to ensure that our environment is protected while also ensuring that our rights are not infringed upon. With a unique opportunity to bridge the generational divide between traditional practices our Elders hold and the adaptive and innovative perspectives of our Youth, your Métis Government will ensure that together, the prosperity of our Métis Nation is upheld, and the environment is stewarded. We are committed to working collaboratively to ensure these issues are given the utmost attention.

Métis Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow (MELT)

The Métis Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow (MELT) Program provides land-based learning opportunities for school-aged Red River Métis Youth. These opportunities will allow youth to learn about the impacts climate change will have on the different regions of the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. Youth will also experience Red River Métis Culture and Heritage, while discovering how to turn climate education into climate action.

MELT will seek to incorporate many different opportunities for youth, based off both regional interest as well as direction from MMF Leadership. Some of these programs include:

  • Regional Canoeing and Aquatic Education
  • Fishing Workshops
  • Snowshoeing
  • Trapping workshops
  • Culture & Environment Camps
  • Environmental Cleanup events
  • Youth Climate Symposium

MELT's Regional Canoeing and Aquatic Education Camps are kicking off summer of 2022 across the province. They will be running in each region through July and August and will include a wrap-up overnight canoe trip in the last week of August for youth from any region who would like to participate. This program will bring Youth the opportunity to learn how to canoe while also learning about the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that surround their local waterways, and the impact climate change is and will have on them.

If you have any questions regarding the MELT Program, please contact Amber Chambers via email at amber.chambers@mmf.mb.ca

Métis Youth Boreal Forest Stewardship Program (MYBFSP)

The Métis Youth Boreal Forest Stewardship Program (MYBFSP) provides land-based education and training opportunities for Métis Youth integrating Métis Harvester and Elder knowledge of the land and waters. Through hands-on learning, Métis Youth will be equipped to address climate change impacts and assist in environmental protection and preservation of our Métis Nation Homeland.

For more information on the Métis Youth Boreal Forest Stewardship Program, please contact Tayler Fleming via email at tayler.fleming@mmf.mb.ca.

Métis Community-Based Monitoring Program

The MMF's Community-Based Monitoring Program is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada and delivered through CIRNAC. The Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program is collecting valuable climate data with Métis Citizen Scientists as the primary data collectors. The use of Survey123, and ArcGIS application, data is collected by our Citizen Scientists throughout the MMF's seven Regions.

A program called the MMF Weather Keepers Initiative was launched last year in partnership with the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba (CEOS). The water-weather keeper program's goals are to provide climate data (weather) on the Manitoba Great Lakes in real time using accessible data dashboards. Weather station towers are set up on Métis citizen property located in St Laurent, MB and Dawson Bay, MB. These weather stations measure and send back information on wind speed and direction, rainfall, temperature, pressure, photosynthetically available radiation (or "PAR"), and humidity.

If you have any questions regarding the Community-Based Monitoring file, please contact Jenny Petrynko Fish & Fish Habitat Coordinator via e-mail at jenny.petrynko@mmf.mb.ca and Nicole Lischynski - Environment & Climate Change Coordinator via e-mail at nicole.lischynski@mmf.mb.ca.

Make Our Homeland Green Again - MMF's Tree Planting Initiative

Your Métis Government has made the commitment to plant 2 million trees across the National Homeland of the Red River Métis through the 'Make Our Homeland Green Again' Initiative. This Initiative will see native tree and shrub species through 5 program streams:

  1. Citizen Yard Improvement Program
  2. Shelterbelt Program
  3. Edible Forest Program
  4. Wildlife Habitat Enhancement & Restoration Program
  5. Riparian Area Revegetation Program

Each tree planted is subject to MMF's Inventory and Long-Term Monitoring Protocol where in each tree will be monitored on an ongoing basis. A unique identification number will link your tree into the inventory and allow for the tracking of all measurements of growth throughout the lifecycle of that tree.

To apply for and learn more about this initiative, please consult the Application Form

Applications will be received on a rolling intake and projects will be completed on a first come first serve basis.

For more information about on the Make Our Homeland Green Again initiative, please contact Tayler Fleming via email at tayler.fleming@mmf.mb.ca.

Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Plan

The MMF is in the beginning stage of developing a Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Plan. The hope for this plan is to effectively integrate Red River Métis perspectives, into the strategy using engagement gathered through community consultations, and the Community Outreach Survey. The plan will aim to identify issues such as - but not limited to the following:

  • Disaster Mitigation;
  • Food Security - Food Sovereignty;
  • Impacts to Traditional Métis Economies (ex. Harvesting);
  • Impacts Traditionally Significant Species;
  • And more.

Further engagement with Red River Métis citizens will be forthcoming, make sure to keep apprised of the MMF's social media pages, and website to be notified of engagement opportunities.

If you have any questions regarding the Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Plan, please contact Amber Chambers - MELT Coordinator via e-mail at amber.chambers@mmf.mb.ca and Nicole Lischynski - Environment & Climate Change Coordinator via e-mail at nicole.lischynski@mmf.mb.ca.

The Weather Keeper Program

The Manitoba Métis Federation and the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba have partnered to create the Weather Keeper Program that provides Manitoba Métis Citizens with current weather conditions in the Manitoba Great Lakes region.

The Weather Keeper Program collects atmospheric data and provides live updates on land-use changes and variability in weather conditions using a monitoring network. It also tracks local and regional effects of climate change.

Manitoba Métis Federation Citizen Scientists maintain the weather stations by giving regular status reports using the sites' lake, river, and watershed samples. The online data dashboard then shows the current weather conditions available to download or map other data using the online dashboards.

Anyone with access to the internet can view the Manitoba Great Lakes region weather conditions at St Laurent Weather Station Data or Dawson Bay Weather Station. The Manitoba Métis Federation plans to create two additional weather stations for four in the Manitoba Great Lakes region. The Manitoba Métis Federation also has access to a SMART mirror with a digital display underneath the glass showing the current weather conditions.

The Weather Keeper Program records essential information for future climate adaptation, climate impact and habitat restoration projects. It also shows real-time data for fishers and locals in the area. The program also provides the capacity to build a designated local weather keeper in remote communities.

Visit https://geoconnections.ad.umanitoba.ca/d/JbY1plZ7z/st-laurent-mb-weather-dashboard?orgId=2&refresh=1m&kiosk to view the St Laurent Weather Station Data Link.

Visit https://geoconnections.ad.umanitoba.ca/d/HX66kVc7k/dawson-bay-mb-weather-dashboard?orgId=2&kiosk&refresh=30s to view the Dawson Bay Weather Station Data Link.

Mining

Minister: Vincent Parenteau
Associate Minister: Mildred Dorion

Mining and development projects play a variety of roles in the lives of our Citizens. Many of our Northern Citizens reside in areas where mining has been the primary economic driver and source of employment for many years. The benefits in terms of economic development have allowed for a sense of self-reliance and financial stability for many Métis families. However, the Mining Industry has also led to many negative impacts to our environment which have affected the health and well-being of our Community.

There are new operations being explored across the Province, drawn in by the demand for new resources and products. However, given that the Métis were left out of the First Nations-Manitoba Mining Protocol, Provincial officials and project proponents are not notifying or reaching out to the MMF.

These mining operations pose their own unique opportunities and challenges. As the Ministers responsible for Mining, it is our responsibility to ensure that our Community is properly engaged and consulted on any Mining operations across the Province, and that we are able to best utilize opportunities and avoid negative impacts to our Community.

Lynn Lake Gold Project - Alamos Gold Inc.

Alamos Gold Inc. has filed an Environment Act Proposal (EAP) for the construction, operation, decommissioning and reclamation of a 17.5 MT open pit gold mine, an ore milling, processing facility, and tailings management facility located approximately 8km northeast of Lynn Lake. The Project is located within the administrative boundary of the Town of Lynn Lake and on land owned by Carlisle Goldfields Limited.

Alamos Gold Inc. filed the EAP outlining the Summary Reports for the Lynn Lake Gold Project consisting of the development of the MacLellan and Gordon open pit mine sites and associated infrastructure including new mine infrastructure, open pits, an access road, a central ore milling and processing plant, ore stockpiles and mine rock storage areas, and management facility located on former mine sites in northern Manitoba.

Currently the project is undergoing federal review by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) as the project has been designated under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

The MMF received funding through the IAAC to participate in the technical review of Alamos Gold's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A community consultation was held on September 18th, 2021, in Thompson at the Thompson Regional Meeting to present on recent updates to this file. Further engagement with Red River Métis citizens will be forthcoming, make sure to keep apprised of the MMF's social media pages, and website to be notified of engagement opportunities.

Sio Silica - Vivian, MB Silica Sand Project

Sio Sand, previously known as CanWhite Sand Corp., a private company based in Calgary, AB is proposing to construct a silica sand processing facility and extraction process to produce 1.36 million tonnes of processed silica sand per year. This proposed CWS mineral extraction process is the first of its kind in North America - a process of pumping wet silica sand through bore holes to a processing plant located near Vivian, MB.

The MMF was notified on December 7th, 2021, that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada made the decision not to federally designate the proposed project under subsection 9(1) of the Impact Assessment Act.

On December 17th, 2021, the decision of the provincial Director of Environmental Approvals was posted outlining the project would be granted an Environment Act License for the construction and operation of the processing facility required for the project. The MMF filed an appeal to this decision January 15th, 2022, pursuant to section 27(1) of The Environment Act.

Canadian Premium Sand Inc. - Wanipigow Silica Sand Project

On May 16, 2019, the Province of Manitoba issued an Environment Act License to Canadian Premium Sand Inc. ("CPS") for the proposed Wanipigow Silica Sand Project. The proposed Project is located southeast of Seymourville, MB, and Hollow Water First Nation and includes the quarrying, washing, drying, screening, and transporting silica sand over approximately 50 years.

Project components include:

  • Active open pit silica sand mine for each year of operation;
  • Progressive annual site reclamation (5 hectares/year)
  • Silica sand processing facility;
  • Paved 6-kilometer access road;
  • 6-kilometer-long powerline; and
  • 1.5-kilometer gravel access road and ancillary facilities.
  • CPS proposed using groundwater for processing and reuse the water in a closed-loop system.
  • The Proponent estimated to run year-round, utilizing 24/7 truck traffic to haul sand at a rate of between 6 to 8 trucks per hour.

The MMF has reached out to Canadian Premium Sand Inc. Since 2018 to initiate engagement and consultation and will continue to work on our end to ensure Red River Métis are apprised of project updates through the MMF, along with discussions related to employment equity and opportunity, economic development, and environmental monitoring.

Hudbay Minerals Inc.

An Environmental Act Proposal (EAP) was filed on behalf of Hudbay Minerals Inc. for the refurbishment and operation of the New Britannia Mill, a 1500 tonnes per day copper, gold and silver milling and processing facility located in the Town of Snow Lake mining district in northern Manitoba. The proposed project consists of the refurbishment of the existing mill and the addition of a new ore pad, hopper, crushers, lime silo and flotation building. A pipeline system, approximately 6.8 km in length, consisting of three surface pipelines connecting the New Britannia Mill to the existing Stall Concentrator and existing Anderson Tailings Management Area is also proposed.

Hudbay Minerals Inc. (Hudbay) in recent years has filed the following:

  • Environment Act Proposal (EAP) for Lalor Mine - 2014
  • EAP for Anderson Tailings Impoundment Area Expansion - 2016
  • EAP for New Britannia Mill - 2019
  • EAP for Snow Lake Waste Disposal Grounds - 2021

Confirmed production from the Lalor Mine site west of Snow Lake, MB is scheduled to more than double from current levels. This expansion and further mineral exploration will be undertaken once the refurbishment and expansion of the New Britannia Mill located in Snow Lake is complete.

The MMF is working to identify methods of ensuring Red River Métis are apprised of project updates through the MMF, along with continuing discussions related to employment equity and opportunity, economic development, and environmental monitoring.

PADCOM Potash Solution Mining Project - Russell, MB

On November 23rd, 2021 the MMF was notified of a designation request for the Proposed PADCOM Potash Solution Mining Project under the Impact Assessment Act. The project is proposing the construction and operation of the Project for the extraction and processing of potash. The Project would be located in the Hamlet of Harrowby, approximately 16 kms West of Russell, Manitoba and would include a potash processing facility with centrifuge, dryer, intake well of potash brine and downhole injection brine well.

The MMF is working to identify methods of ensuring Red River Métis are apprised of project updates through the MMF, along with continuing discussions related to employment equity and opportunity, economic development, and environmental monitoring.

If you have any questions regarding the mining files outlined above, please contact the MMF's Environment & Climate Change Coordinator - Nicole Lischynski via e-mail at nicole.lischynski@mmf.mb.ca.

Sherridon Mine Remediation Project - Sherridon, MB

As part of Manitoba's Orphaned and Abandoned Mine Site Rehabilitation Program, the Province began the remediation of Sherridon Mine in September 2009. In 2015 Manitoba outlined a need to lower the water from Camp Lake into Kississing Lake to safely complete the remediation project.

As part of the remedial efforts at Camp Lake, lime was placed on the ice during the spring and when the ice melts the water is neutralized by the deposit and becomes clear. However, the water regains its orange colour throughout the year indicating neutralization of the water has not been achieved. This orange outflow is now entering Kississing Lake and Citizens in the area are indicating their concerns with the water quality. Consultants hired by Manitoba insist that the waters in Camp Lake meet water quality standards. The consultants were hired to prepare a report summarizing the water quality monitoring.

Earlier this year the MMF set out to determine the water quality status of the Sherridon Mine, which is classified as an orphaned and abandoned mine in northern Manitoba. The MMF's water samples are very similar to those presented by the province and their independent consultant. However, additional medium samples indicate bioaccumulation of metals in the benthic environment in the lake.

The MMF is working to define the design and implementation of a sampling program to be conducted adjacent to the efforts undertaken by the province. The MMF Sherridon Sampling Program will focus on collecting data through the following sampling activities:

  • Water Sampling
  • Sediment Sampling
  • Soil Sampling
  • Flora Sampling
  • Fauna Sampling

If you have any questions regarding the Sherridon file, please contact Jenny Petrynko Fish & Fish Habitat Coordinator via e-mail at jenny.petrynko@mmf.mb.ca and Nicole Lischynski - Environment & Climate Change Coordinator via e-mail at nicole.lischynski@mmf.mb.ca.

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

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MMF Annual General Assembly 2022
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