Skownan First Nation and Manitoba government announce new protected lands

Photo credit: Eric Reder, wilderness Committee.

Winnipeg – Skownan First Nation and the Manitoba government have hatched a new agreement that will protect the Chitek Lake region as a new 1,003-square kilometre Chitek Lake Provincial Park.

The new park on the shore of Lake Winnipegosis is home to woodland caribou, moose and a very rare herd of wood bison. It is a relatively intact transition zone between northern boreal forest and southern aspen parkland, which supports a diverse ecology.

The Skownan First Nation uses the region extensively for fishing, hunting, trapping and cultural activities. The Chitek Lake Park Reserve has had temporary protection since 1999.

“It has been a long time since Skownan First Nation nominated these lands and waters for protection, and it is wonderful to see their success,” said Eric Reder, Manitoba Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee.

Along with the new park, the Manitoba government announced a new land classification called “indigenous traditional use.”

“What is really encouraging about this development is seeing the Manitoba government putting more resources towards protecting First Nations lands and waters,” said Reder. “We’re very interested in seeing the details about the announced indigenous lands classification, and how it will actually be written up in legislation.”