The Lands, Resources and Consultations (LRC) Branch is coordinating program development to understand and respond to climate change and its effects on Métis communities across the province. Through ongoing engagement with MNO communities, this work focuses on the local knowledge held by our communities to ensure the voices of Métis help guide the development of MNO environment and climate change policy and programs.
Fish Monitoring Project
The MNO is launching a series of fish monitoring surveys to hear from Métis fishers about their experiences. The survey results will inform fisheries management strategies and target monitoring activities that may be used in consultations to help protect MNO harvesters’ abilities to exercise their Section 35 rights. The surveys will also help track the presence of invasive Carp species.
There are three reporting surveys available to complete:
- Fishing Trip Report: https://arcg.is/eXzf8
- Fish Measurements and Health Report: https://arcg.is/1b0ST5
- Palatability Report: https://arcg.is/1fHezy1
The three surveys will be accessible via the MNO’s website and will be available year-round.
We appreciate any and all information Métis fishers are willing to share about their experiences in order to better understand the health of Ontario waterways and the fish that live in them. At the end of each year, the MNO Environment and Climate Change Team will hold a prize draw for each survey. Entries received in each survey category will be eligible to win a $250 Cabela’s gift card. Draws will take place annually each September and prizes will be sent out that month.
MNO Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring Program
The LRC Branch is pleased to announce the MNO Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring Pilot Program. The Program will monitor the effects of climate change and pollution on important waterbodies across the MNO. During the Summer of 2021 and Spring 2022, citizens from across the MNO were trained in water quality monitoring techniques, with more anticipated for Summer 2022.
Métis Guardians will sample waterbodies under Spring, Summer, and Fall conditions annually. Currently, thirty sites have been identified as monitoring locations for the Program. Guardians will monitor these sites for basic water quality parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, turbidity and more.
The Program also includes site specific laboratory analysis of water samples to test for nutrients, hydrocarbons and metals, including methylmercury (MeHg) as well as baitfish laboratory analysis for MeHg. MeHg is a form of mercury that can travel through the food chain and bioaccumulate in fish tissue and subsequently in humans that consume them. Climate change has the potential to affect MeHg levels in aquatic environments, so it is important to track any fluctuations over time.
For more information on the Program and to join our waiting list for future training workshops for MNO citizens, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The MNO has received funding from Crown-Indigenous Relations, Northern Affairs Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the development of a Métis Guardians environmental monitoring program.
Métis-Focused Ecological Footprint Calculator
Do you know the impact your lifestyle has on the environment in your community? This calculator helps provide an estimate of your ecological footprint and explore sustainable solutions you can use to minimize your eco impact.
Community Council Funding for Conservation Initiatives
The LRC team has secured funding for 2022 to support MNO Community Councils in Region 1-9 for initiatives that incorporate sofgardé la tèr (land conservation) and restoration. Councils have the opportunity to undertake land-based activities in their local communities such as garbage cleanups, planting trees or traditional medicines, rain gardens, bee hotels, butterfly gardens, or invasive plant species removal and replacement with native plant species. The LRC team hopes to secure funding for this initiative again in the future.
The MNO values the need for youth participation and engagement in our programming as the future stewards of no tèr pi noz o (our lands and waters), within our traditional territories. We have had various youth participating in our Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring Program. This program provides youth with training and experience in environmental monitoring, which can support post-secondary studies. Youth educational and engagement opportunities have been built into a host of other events such as the MNO AGA. Additionally, during the development of our Métis-specific carbon footprint calculator, youth have been interviewed to help us gain perspectives on climate change and action.
Métis-Based Land Conservation
The LRC Branch is currently investigating possibilities for direct land-based conservation. This may include direct landownership or partnerships with conservation organizations. Maintaining or returning land to its natural state will help to combat climate change, maintain biodiversity and protect species important to the Metis way of life.