Press Release – September 15, 2021
MOOSE FACTORY, ON – Chief Mervin Cheechoo is pleased to announce that Moose Cree First Nation (“MCFN”) is reaffirming its commitment to establishing an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) in the North French River Watershed, an area in the heart of the MCFN Homeland.
“Protecting this extraordinary landscape and river system is critical to the cultural well-being of Moose Cree people today, and for future generations.”– Chief Mervin Cheechoo
MCFN has received funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the work of establishing a North French River Watershed protected area. “We are delighted that Canada has come on board with our project to protect the pristine North French River” said Chief Mervin Cheechoo. “We see this as an important step along the reconciliation path. The nipiy (water) and askiy (land) have been used by Moose Cree people since time immemorial, and the entire North French watershed remains an important area for fishing, hunting, and maintaining a cultural and spiritual connection to the land and to our traditional way of life,” Chief Cheechoo explained. The North French River is one of the last untouched rivers in Northeastern Ontario.
The support demonstrated by Canada with this funding contribution marks an important milestone in the years-long effort by MCFN to protect the North French River Watershed. The Chief & Council of MCFN are pleased to be able to share this important news with neighbours, allies, and supporters from across Canada. This is positive news for all those that share MCFN’s commitment to permanently protect the watershed. The watershed’s protection will also contribute to Canada’s efforts towards its biodiversity targets—specifically, that of protecting at least 25% of terrestrial areas and inland water by 2025.
MCFN was successful in securing a grant from the Canada Nature Fund with matching funding commitments from the Metcalf Foundation and International Boreal Conservation Campaign. Wildlands League and Nature Canada are providing in kind support in the form of technical and scientific advice to the community to support implementation of this project.
“Protecting this extraordinary landscape and river system is critical to the cultural well-being of Moose Cree people today, and for future generations,” said Chief Cheechoo.
“I hope Ontario will work with us to protect this truly magnificent area that is not only important to the Moose Cree people but to all Canadians,” Chief Cheechoo continued.
This project was undertaken with the support of the Government of Canada through the federal department of Environment and Climate Change.
Ce projet a été realisé avec l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l’entremise du ministère fédéral de l’Environnement et du Changement climatique.
To submit questions please contact:
Jeff Hunter, Executive Services Coordinator