The Mushkegowuk Traditional Territory is distinguished by its wilderness areas, clean water and air and abundant populations of animals, plants and fish. The land sustains the Omushkego physically, culturally and spiritually and has been managed sustainably throughout time. The Omushkego are stewards of the lands and have always planned land use, but this has not been recognized by others.
What is Landuse Planning?
Landuse planning is the process of making choices about the future of the land. These choices will help to answer some important questions, including:
• Who will benefit from it?
• Where will land be protected for traditional uses?
• Where will the Mushkegowuk collectively agree that roads will go?
• Where will the Mushkegowuk collectively agree that forestry or mining will be allowed?
Landuse planning needs to be based on the First Nations knowledge of the land and on any other information that will help Mushkegowuk make wise choices for the future. Each First Nation is currently collecting Traditional Mushkegowuk Knowledge that will be used to help define areas for protection, conservation and those open to resource development during the planning process.
All Mushkegowuk First Nations, including Weenusk First Nation will be represented on Regional Planning Team. Working together in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, a Terms of Reference document is being prepared that will guide the development of Regional Draft and Final Land Use Plans for the entire Mushkegowuk Territory. This approach will enable all the Mushkegowuk First Nations to work toward the development of a unified Regional Land Use Plan for the entire Mushkegowuk Territory.
Lands & Resources Department staff support the Community-Based Landuse planning process by being active members on the planning team and in giving technical advice and assistance to Community Landuse Planning Coordinators as needed.
On-going: Traditional, planned land use
1994-1996: Collection of land use information, creation of land use atlases
2004: Proposal to Province to begin mapping and planning process
2005: Mushkegowuk/Provincial “Think Tank” on land use planning
2009: Introduction of Far North Act
2010: First Nations Planning Coordinators begin meeting
2011: Formation of Regional Planning Team
2012: Discussions on the Government/First Nations Joint Body
Resolutions supporting Landuse Planning:
Res 2008‐11‐13: Territorial Mapping and Land Use Planning: Agreement to undertake cooperative mapping and land use planning for Mushkegowuk Region
Res 2008‐11‐29: Resource Development Activities in the Mushkegowuk First Nation Homelands: Land Use planning must be complete before new development takes place
Res 2009‐08‐21: Provincial Funding For Land Use Planning: Reconfirmed commitment to plan entire Mushkegowuk Region and called for Provincial funding
Res 2010‐09‐10: Undertake landuse Planning for the Entire Mushkegowuk Territory: Reconfirmed commitment to plan entire Mushkegowuk Region and called for Provincial funding
Res 2011‐09‐12: Regional Land Use Planning Team: Appointed members to the Regional LUP Team; Mandated Team to produce a planning Terms of Reference