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Indigenous voices needed in Lake Winnipeg conversation – Winnipeg Free Press

by ahnationtalk on June 3, 202066 Views

THE State of Lake Winnipeg, 2nd edition, was released last month by provincial and federal governments without much fanfare. You’d be excused for not noticing its arrival, as we all confront the all-too-real threat of COVID-19. When we finally emerge from self-isolation, we will be entering a new normal.

Sadly, this latest report seems to suggest the new normal includes a Lake Winnipeg that is degraded and damaged.

Lake Winnipeg — Misti Sákahikan — has long been cherished as a source of life for First Nations, a place of spiritual regeneration, and vital to the survival of generations of people. Over the last few decades, First Nation elders and fishers sounded the alarm on impacts to the lake, calling on the provincial and federal governments to act. Their concerns were met with apathy and wilful ignorance.

Governments and landowners across the watershed continued to drain wetlands, dam rivers, release effluent and cut trees in the name of progress. The steady degradation of both land and lake has been a truly bipartisan effort, as each successive government prioritized looking good over doing good.

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