AMC Celebrates Earth Day 2022
April 22, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) joins other Nations across Turtle Island in Celebrating Earth Day 2022. Every year more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities, making it one of the largest civic observances in the world.
Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean states, “Since first contact, our ancestors have not only experienced an increase in climate disasters but an intentional manipulation of our territorial landscapes due to colonization. Our rivers and lands were flooded to make way for hydro development which has destroyed our traditional hunting and fishing areas. Our ancestors worked hard to care for and protect that land so that we and our children could continue to live on it in a good and sustainable way. It is our responsibility to continue that legacy of protecting the land.”
This year, the United Nations has highlighted the need to “Invest in our Planet” by seeking solutions, being outspoken in combating climate change and protecting the earth we live on for future generations. A commitment to Mother Earth in this way not only ensures a healthy future for our children and their children but also honours the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
“Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.” UNDRIP, Article 29
“This past winter we saw record-breaking snowfall and our relatives suffered through the colder than usual weather. Last summer many First Nations in Manitoba were required to evacuate due to flood and forest fires. Climate change is real and as stewards of the land, we are seeing firsthand the ways it is affecting our territories,” Acting Grand Chief McLean says, “It is time we invest in the protection and restoration of Mother Earth.”
We are proud to celebrate the many ways First Nations in Manitoba are investing in the health of their communities and lands in a safe and sustainable way. In 2020 Fisher River Cree Nation launched this province’s largest solar project. A facility that has almost 3000 solar panels and was built by First Nation employees. Nations such as the Pine Creek First Nation have taken steps to ensure that consultation happens with their leadership and citizens before companies can even think about harvesting resources from their territory. Internationally, we are proud to see First Nation delegates attend events such as the C0P26 Climate Conference, most recently in Scotland, and voice concerns regarding First Nation representation in conservation efforts.
AMC also appreciates the Province of Manitoba’s commitment to protecting the environment in the 2022 Provincial Budget by:
- Developing the Energy Policy Framework and a new Water Management Strategy;
- Over $6 million for 12 initiatives for advancing the Made in Manitoba Climate and Green Plan;
- About $50 million over the next two years for accelerating the remediation and rehabilitation of orphaned and abandoned mine sites;
- $1.5 million for expanding the Conservation and Climate Fund;
- Increase of $1.2 million to forestry programs;
- And over $100 million for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channel Project for enhancing flood protection.
“It is important that our ecological Autonomy be recognized, and our Traditional knowledge is given due credit.” Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean concludes, “Our Ancestors have been stewards of the land since time immemorial, we continue to advocate for the right to continue this vital work.”