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.
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.
Monitor Michael Smith (background) and LRC employee Hope Hill (foreground) participate in the first sampling day of the MNO water quality monitoring program in South Bruce
Métis-Focused Ecological Footprint Calculator
Do you know the impact your lifestyle has on the environment in your community? Calculate 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.
Niagara Region Métis Council planting trees.
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.