Submitted by: MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council Chair Larry J. Ferris
On May 15, 2017, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Georgian Bay Métis Council (GBMC) completed another Conservation Project by planting 50 Butternut and 20 Cedar trees.
The Butternut tree can be used for medicine to treat constipation, arthritis, dysentery and headaches. It can also be a food source. The Cedar is known as one of the four sacred medicines. The Butternut tree has been on the Endangered Species List since 2007. It has suffered due to the popularity of its beautiful wood for furniture and as of late a canker (fungus) that kills the trees has been a problem.
In 2017, tree planting allowed the MNO GBMC to partner for the first time with Beausoleil Island First Nations (BIFN) on their reserve on Christian Island. The MNO GBMC volunteers travelled by ferry to the Island, where they were greeted by First Nations members and other volunteers. The trees were carefully planted in the churchyard.
Once the planting was completed, the Council celebrated by having a BBQ and everyone had the opportunity to meet each other. During the gathering there were good ideas discussed about future conservation projects.
Later 10 Butternuts were planted on Georgian Bay Islands National Park property in three locations where seed crops will be developed for future Butternut trees. The MNO GBMC has already placed two large trees on Georgian Bay Islands National Park property.
With partnerships with different service clubs and a core of wonderful volunteers, the Council managed to help plant over 18,000 trees over the past seven years. The volunteers have done everything from the physical planting of the trees to the organization of events. A single tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year, which results in 864,000 pounds of CO2 emissions neutralized per year.
The Council has done other projects besides tree planting. Its worked with great clubs like the Georgian Bay Bassmasters who taught them about fish habitats. They teamed up with the Bassmasters and Scouts Canada to put together and place about 50 fish habitats in the Georgian Bay area. These will protect small fish until they can mature by forming artificial reefs for them to hide in.
The MNO GBMC thanks all the great volunteers who came out and made things happen for the betterment of the environment.
The Council also thanks Ontario Power Generation for their generous donations to the MNO GBMC to finance these projects over the last two years. Without their financial support it is very hard to get these type of projects done.
Posted: June 29, 2017