June 3, 2008
with Addendum November 6, 2008

Prepared by:
Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural of Resources

Addendum to June 3, 2008 Terms of Reference

Cat Lake —Slate Falls Community-based land use planning

Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation, in partnership with MNR, have identified the need to provide the following updates to the June 3rd 2008 approved Terms of Reference.

  1. The planning partners recognize that on July 14, 2008, the Premier of Ontario launched a Far North Planning Initiative having a commitment to protect at least 225,000 km2, or more than half of the Northern Boreal Region through a land use planning system that will include both broad-scale and community-based land use planning. This also includes a commitment “to ensure proper planning and community input, new forestry and the opening of new mines in the Far North would require community land use plans supported by local Aboriginal communities.”
  2. The Cat Lake — Slate Falls Community-based Land Use Planning initiative process is outlined in the Terms of Reference. Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation are jointly leading preparation of a Community-based Land Use Strategy, and are now continuing to work in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) under the Far North Planning Initiative. This process will proceed concurrently and fall under the emerging process and rules from the Far North Planning Framework and proposed legislation.
  3. As outlined in the Terms of Reference, strategic land use direction for the Cat Lake - Slate Falls Planning Area will be informed by First Nation aboriginal traditional knowledge and interests. Furthermore, direction will be also be informed by emerging Far North broad scale policy direction, for:
    • areas of fragility/vulnerability requiring protection;
    • conservation of ecological features and functions;
    • species at risk (e.g. woodland caribou); and
    • strategies for maintaining carbon storage and sequestration functions;
    • transmission and road corridors; and
    • areas of high resource potential and sustainable economic development opportunities.

Signed, Chief Glen Whiskeyjack of Slate Falls Nation
Date: Nov. 11, 2008

Signed, Chief Ron Wesley of Cat Lake First Nation
Date: Nov. 10, 2008

Signed, Bob David, District Manager, Ministry of Natural Resources
Date: Nov. 10, 2008

Signed, Allan Willcocks, NWR Regional Director, Ministry of Natural Resources
Date: Nov. 7, 2008

Dianne Corbett, Director – Far North Ministry of Natural Resources
Date: Nov. 6, 2008


The land is an integral part of the cultural, economic and spiritual existence of our First Nations. This relationship between the People and the land must be the cornerstone of all future decision making. Our vision statement is:

Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation will maintain our ancestral stewardship responsibilities for the land that was given to us as a sacred gift from the Creator and pursue resource-based opportunities including forest management.”

This philosophy expresses our intention to maintain the Anishnawbe relationship to the land and to maintain the Anishnawbe way of life in harmony with new land use activities. These new activities will be integrated with traditional land uses in a way that is guided by our traditional values and principles.

Reasons for planning

Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation are preparing a community-based land use strategy. The First Nations, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) will develop policy direction for that portion of our traditional territory that lies north of the area of the undertaking (AOU) and north of the area addressed by Ontario’s Living Legacy existing planning direction.

This land use strategy will strengthen the self-reliance of Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation through the identification of new economic development opportunities. As economic development opportunities are identified, realized and managed by the communities, long term community development priorities can be addressed. After the completion of the land use strategy, the communities will have an increased capacity to exercise responsibility for our own well being, and to work with others to enable direction.

A key interest of Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation is to realize benefits from commercial forest management. It is the goal of Cat Lake and Slate Falls to have one hundred (100%) percent ownership in a First Nations corporate entity that holds a Sustainable Forest License (SFL). Through land use planning, forestry opportunities will be considered in an integrated manner with all other land use interests and capabilities.

The land use strategy will provide guiding direction for land use, considering a range of subjects including forestry, non-timber forest products, protection, eco-tourism, tourism, mineral exploration/mining, aggregate extraction, infrastructure, farming, water management and water power development. The strategy will confirm customary land uses and identify areas supporting other uses, including sustainable development and new protected areas.

The strategy will incorporate broader policy direction and contribute to Far North goals of conservation of Far North ecosystems, Aboriginal community involvement and environmentally sustainable economic development.


On December 20, 2000 a Statement of Intent was signed between Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation and the OMNR confirming our intention to work cooperatively in land use and resource development planning. This planning approach is to be founded upon a collaboration of planning efforts and will provide a framework for integrating economic, social and environmental values, and balance competing interests. The preparation of the strategy will assist in decision making, contributing to the realization of new sustainable development within the traditional territory of Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation.

The communities have decided to use an approach called Community-based Land Use Planning to be a led by the respective First Nations in a manner that expresses the principals, values and direction that we want resource development to take within our traditional territory. Both Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation will take equal responsibility for the land use planning process and strive to reach consensus on decisions related to management direction for lands and resources.

Community-based Land Use Planning is a policy framework associated with the Northern Boreal Initiative (NBI) established by Ontario in 2000 in response to First Nations’ interests in the feasibility of commercial forestry north of the area of the undertaking (AOU). Land use planning is described as one of the first steps in making decisions about potential land uses and resource development north of where forestry activity is currently authorized in Ontario. As described in the Northern Boreal Initiative, the preparation of strategic land use direction, led by First Nations, is consistent with commitments made in the 1999 Ontario Forest Accord. The Ontario Forest Accord describes support for planning initiatives directed toward the orderly development of lands and resources north of the area of the undertaking (AOU).

A policy framework is in development for the Far North. While the Community-based Land Use Planning policy environment will provide the current framework for planning, the importance of flexibility to incorporate emerging Far North policy direction is recognized.

Authority, responsibility and decision-making


Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation are working in collaboration with the OMNR to prepare this land use strategy. The strategy itself is a guiding document, to be endorsed by the First Nations and the OMNR. Cat Lake and Slate Falls will endorse this land use strategy under the authority of each communities Chief and Council. The OMNR will endorse this land use strategy under the authority of the Public Lands Act.

The implementation of land use direction from the strategy such as the allocation of resources and obtaining licenses or permits for land use activities have separate approval processes. This strategy is being prepared with respect for Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.


Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation

  • Employ consensus as the method used in decision making with the goal of achieving majority community support.
  • Provide an open process and encourage participation
  • Post notice of community meetings which are open to all interested people
  • Make available minutes to planning meetings
  • Provide regular communications on progress (e.g. radio, meetings etc.)
  • Consider a full range of values including social, cultural, economic, ecological and spiritual
  • Identify/address capacity building needs during and after plan preparation
  • Incorporate indigenous knowledge in the information base and planning decisions
  • Partner with OMNR to address the formal planning process requirements, including issue resolution
  • Participate with Far North dialogue to ensure consistency with Far North policy direction.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

  • Provide background information including a completed Forest Resource Inventory (FRI)
  • Provide available information on landform/vegetation types, natural heritage features and areas and provide analysis of this information such as ecological reports and landform /vegetation representation
  • Facilitate MNDM engagement with the planning team, including the identification of significant areas of mineral potential (e.g., Provincial Significant Mineral Potential (PSMP)).
  • Facilitate Ontario Parks engagement with the planning team, including the provision of representation analysis.
  • Facilitate provision of advice to the planning team regarding the application of ecological criteria to identify, select, design, and assess candidate protected areas (representation, condition, diversity, ecological functions and special features)
  • Facilitate consultation opportunities, including Open Houses and EBR notification
  • Identify issues and opportunities
  • Facilitate stakeholder interest by providing opportunities for input and review of recommendations throughout the planning process in a fair unbiased manner, ensuring stakeholder interests are represented appropriately.
  • Address Provincial requirements with respect to policy/legislation
  • Document of process and public input
  • Facilitate issue resolution process
  • Participate with Far North dialogue to address policy implications for ongoing planning.

Decision-making will be made by consensus, in a manner that reflects:

  • Fairness
  • Openness
  • Good use of information and analysis
  • Time lines
  • Respect for opinion and input

Expectations for the final strategy

The land use strategy will act as a mechanism that sets out clear policy direction in a manner that embraces and respects the interests of Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation. A final endorsement of land use planning strategies will be required from Cat Lake and Slate Falls and from the OMNR, under the authority of the Minister of Natural Resources administering the Public Lands Act. Potential implications of proposed land use direction to mineral sector activities and requirements of the Mining Act will be identified during the planning process. Any land use decisions that would preclude future mineral exploration and development (e.g. Mining Act, Section 35 Withdrawal) will be discussed and verified at various stages throughout the planning process and confirmed with MNDM prior to final endorsement. The classification of proposed dedicated protected areas may be determined either during or subsequent to the planning process. Protected area boundaries will be confirmed and regulated through existing processes.

Once the strategic land use document is complete and endorsed by the First Nations and the OMNR, the document will provide guiding direction to government, resource based industry and other land use regulatory agencies in their assessment of development projects. Strategic land use direction, determined through the land use planning process that describes how lands and resources will be used, will be added to the provincial atlas of land direction (Crown Land Use Policy Atlas (CLUPA)), through an amending procedure. Boundaries for mining withdrawals will be confirmed and withdrawals will be processed under the Mining Act.

Subsequent land and resource allocations, resource management planning (e.g. forest management planning) and resource management activities will be subject to the OMNR obligations under the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) and other relevant legislation such as the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. Periodically, the effectiveness of direction and decisions contained in the strategy will need to be re-evaluated.

Goals, principles and objectives

Goals for planning

This Community-based Land Use Strategy will represent a shared understanding amongst First Nations, government agencies and stakeholders. The strategy will address the sustainable development and protection of natural resources. Objectives and opportunities will be described with the accompanying evaluation of related economic, cultural, social and environmental benefits.

A goal statement will be provided by the First Nation communities in the first phase of planning. MNR will bring forward provincial interests, including goals for the Far North of conservation of Far North ecosystems, aboriginal community involvement and environmentally sustainable economic development.

Objectives of planning

The planning process will result in:

  • Land use area designations and/or strategic direction for dedicated protection, traditional use,commercial forestry, mineral sector interests and tourism activities
  • Sustainability objectives (environmental, cultural, social and economic) for lands and resources
  • Recognition and respect of customary uses and means to provide harmony with new uses.
  • Identification of proposed boundaries for dedicated protected areas (e.g. provincial parks and conservation reserves) as a first step towards their eventual boundary regulation
  • Identification of provisions for existing interests throughout the planning process, while seeking to avoid compromising any existing interests in the planning area (e.g. tourism, mineral sector interests including existing claims and mining leases)
  • Consideration of recreation and tourism opportunities
  • Land use direction (e.g. zoning, identification of interests) that reflects identified significant areas of mineral potential as identified by a Provincially Significant Mineral Potential resource assessment or other similar tool utilized by MNDM
  • Guidance for continued First Nation involvement in future land use proposals and subsequent resource management planning
  • Strategic direction to support the needs of Species at Risk
  • Contributions to regional broad-scale planning and landscape interests, including targets associated with Provincial policy (e.g. representation of landform/vegetation associations and completion of Ontario’s Parks and Protected Areas System)
  • Opportunities for synergies with Far North planning objectives, ensuring that local planning decisions do not preclude regional broad-scale options development.
  • Guiding direction to provide land use input to other planning processes such as Environmental
  • Assessment Act coverage for forest management north of the area of the undertaking (AOU)

Specific objective statements will be provided in the first phase of planning, based on the above.

The planning area

Planning area boundaries:

The land use planning area is defined as that portion of the traditional territory of Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation that lies north of the area of the undertaking (AOU) and is bordered by the Trout Lake Forest, the Whitefeather Forest, and the traditional use area of Mishkeegogamang First Nation and North Caribou First Nation.

Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation trapline areas have been used to help define the boundaries of the planning area in order to respect neighboring First Nations. Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation belong to Treaty 9. The total area encompasses 1,527,751 ha (Figure 1).

The planning area is subject to over-lapping interests in traditional use from adjacent First Nations. Discussions have occurred with Pikangikum, MacDowell Lake, Mishkeegogamang and North Caribou First Nations.

As of the drafting of this Terms of Reference a dialogue has been established with surrounding First Nations and no boundary issues have been identified. In this dialogue, the First Nations have the understanding that the land use planning area does not impact overlapping traditional uses. The planning team will continue to meet with all of the adjacent First Nations and continue the dialogue throughout the planning process.

Access: Slate Falls Nation can be accessed via Highway 516 north of Sioux Lookout, to the Big Vermillion Road and north on the Rawhide Road to Slate Falls Nation. Cat Lake First Nation is accessible only by air. Both Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation are connected to the hydro transmission grid and are serviced by Hydro One Remotes.

Existing land use designations:

The planning area includes a portion of the Pipestone River Provincial Park.


The topography within the planning area is glacial till consisting of an unsorted mixture of boulders, sand, silt and clay sized particles sufficiently thick to mask bedrock topography as well as shallow drift which are thin glacial sediments, mostly till over bedrock. The prime difference between these expressions is the distribution and thickness of glacial debris. Till overlying this area is thin to discontinuous while shallow drift is thicker and more continuous. In places, the drift is arranged into closely spaced elongated hills called drumlins and drumlinoid ridges. Cat Lake First Nation is located in an area with east/west tending eskers and drumlins. Slate Falls Nation is located proximate to esker features.

Forest cover:

The planning area is classified as Northern Coniferous Forest (Rowe 1972) where the canopy cover is predominantly black spruce and jack pine with balsam fir and trembling aspen in patches. Birch and poplar occur on more upland areas.


The soils here generally consist of very thin organic material over gray sand over fine red brown sand. The ground cover consists mainly of sphagnum moss, dogwood, bearberry, labrador tea, wild rose, spotted dog lichen, horsetail moss, club moss and blueberry.


The climate is considered “modified continental” where winters are long and cold with relatively low precipitation. In summer, humid air from the southwest interacts with the cool, dry northern air to produce days of warm clear weather.


The surrounding area supports a variety of fauna such as moose, black bear, beaver, muskrat, martin, otter, wolves, fox and lynx. Species at risk in the planning area include woodland caribou, wolverine and lake sturgeon.

Figure 1: Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation trapline areas have been used to help define the boundaries of the planning area in order to respect neighboring First Nations. Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation belong to Treaty 9. The total area encompasses 1,527,751 ha

Enlarge Figure 1: Cat Lake and Slate Falls Land Use Planning Area (PDF)

Scope of planning

Community-based land use planning has a primary focus on community interests in a portion of the traditional territory of Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation. Input from a provincial perspective will provide the communities with views on the broader economic, social and environmental implications of recommendations developed during the land use planning process.

Provincial policy will supply broad objectives and existing guiding principles for land use. Ecodistrict evaluations will identify provincial landform/vegetation representation needs and, combined with ecoregional information, may suggest location options for new dedicated protected areas. The OMNR has a goal to protect the full spectrum of natural characteristics, or natural diversity of the province including natural features, species and eco-systems. The aim is to protect natural heritage values based on their uniqueness, rarity, sensitivity or other special values, and to apply ecological criteria to identify, select, design, and assess candidate protected areas (representation, condition, diversity, ecological functions and special features). Recommendations of the land use strategy are expected to contribute to the OMNR targets for the creation of specific classes of provincial parks.

Land use planning will identify geographic areas where resource-based activities are acceptable, called land use areas or zones. Zoning is based on an evaluation of the capability of the lands and resources to sustainably support activities that are consistent with the communities’ goals and objectives. Land use planning will also provide strategic guidance for the manner in which development activity should take place. A strategic land use plan is a key step toward the realization of long term resource-based economic development goals for Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation.

Ecoregions and Ecodistricts: This land use strategy will contribute to the goals of Ontario’s Parks and Protected Areas system which is based on ecologically defined areas (Ecoregions and Ecodistricts). There is provincial direction to “expand the system of parks and protected areas in Ontario including the far north in conjunction with the Northern Boreal Initiative”. The planning area lies within Ecoregion 3S and Ecodistricts 3S-2, 3S-4, 3S-5 and 3S-3, following Ontario’s Ecological Land Classification system. Each Ecoregion in the province has a particular combination of climate, topography, land forms and soil.

Dedicated protected areas:

The planning team will propose dedicated protected areas that support First Nations protection interests, support the needs of species at risk, and provide opportunities such as ecotourism, recreation and research. During planning, proposed dedicated protected areas will be evaluated for their representation (i.e. landform/vegetation representation, Provincial Park class targets achievement), as well as their general design (e.g., size, shape, connectivity, location on landbase) reflecting ecological criteria (e.g. representation, condition, diversity, ecological functions and special features) and contribution to the Ontario’s Parks and Protected Areas system. The planning team will employ analytical results in their efforts to achieve a high degree of representation within the planning area that will strongly contribute to the broader achievements for each Ecodistrict, for Ecoregion 3S, and for the province.

Fire management strategy:

Inherent in land use strategic decisions are assumptions about the extent of fire and its effects on sustainable resource use. OMNR is responsible for the Provincial Fire Management Strategy which establishes levels of protection, fire management investment and protection priorities. The planning area is located in the Northern Boreal Zone in which First Nations constitute the majority of the population and it is recognized that there are resource based tourism interests along with opportunities for commercial forestry. Amendments may be required to the Fire Strategy to reflect new land use direction and priorities as determined by the land use strategy. Resource management planning will provide greater detail on the role of fire and fire management direction required to ensure long-term ecological goals while achieving resource management objectives.

Species at risk:

Consideration will be given for species at risk in preparation of this strategic land use plan. The strategic land use plan will take the woodland caribou, wolverine and lake sturgeon into consideration as they are identified by the Species at Risk Act. Planning will seek to identify management direction that will contribute to their protection including provisions for protection of critical habitat. Scientific, community and traditional ecological knowledge will support these considerations.

Mineral sector interests:

Planning team will recognize that the mining industry in Ontario relies upon keeping as much area open for exploration as possible. Management of most of Ontario’s mineral resources is the responsibility of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, under the authority of the Mining Act. Planning proposals that might lead to constraints on mineral exploration or development must consider the potential for mineral development, and existing mining lands. MNDM advisors will identify the types of mining-related policies that are relevant to land use planning and will use tools such as the Provincially-significant Mineral Potential (PSMP) methodology, to assist planners in achieving a consensus on the balance between areas of exploration and areas recommended to be excluded from mineral development.

MNDM advisors will be involved in both the identification of significant areas of mineral potential (e.g. PSMP) and the evaluation of the potential impacts of land use proposals. Furthermore, the MNDM advisors will identify MNDM issues/recommendations and provide advice to the planning team. Discussions of mineral sector opportunities for First Nations will be important to the planning dialogue throughout the process.

Tourism industry:

The planning area is part of a vibrant tourism industry in Ontario, and there is significant involvement in the industry by Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation. Planning will recognize the importance of lands and resource values that the industry depends upon. Planning will support existing tourism interests and consider new opportunities in both resource-based activities such as hunting, fishing and eco-tourism.

Recreation interests:

The planning process will bring forward the community interests of Cat Lake and Slate Falls, and support achievement of provincial objectives. OMNR seeks to ‘enhance the quality of life for all Ontarians through the use and enjoyment of natural resources’.

Strategic access and infrastructure:

Access or infrastructure planning is commonly addressed in separate planning processes, such as an environmental assessment. A land use strategy seeks to provide land use designations that can support anticipated future interests, and provides information on compatibility of interests.

Environmental Assessment Act coverage:

The implementation of activities on Crown land, identified during this Strategic Land Use Plan will incorporate the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. For most types of activity, the OMNR has approved Environmental Assessment Act coverage and associated procedures to follow for specific cases. The OMNRs EA Act approval for commercial forestry is limited to the Area of the Undertaking (AOU), thus coverage is not in place for the NBI area. Prior to initiating a forest management planning process (FMP), the OMNR must obtain EA coverage. The 1999 Ontario Forest Accord directs the OMNR to model EA Act coverage for the NBI area after the existing Timber Class EA. Climate Change Mitigation: As land use planning proceeds, the planning team acknowledges that climate change will be a subject of discussion, and opportunities to contribute to the mitigation of climate change through land use planning will be considered.

Documentation compiled to date

In 1998, the Windigo Interim Planning Board prepared land use guidance created by North Caribou Lake First Nation and Cat Lake First Nation entitled Pemachihon-Sustained by the Land. This document was the result of five years of information sharing, the documentation of concerns, traditional values, process planning and strategies aimed at advising Ontario on how the communities would like to see development proceed and decision making happen within their traditional lands. While this guidance was created for the traditional lands of North Caribou Lake First Nation and Cat Lake First Nation, it also reflects the direction that Slate Falls wants to follow. Cat Lake and Slate Falls want to utilize ‘Pemachihon-Sustained by the Land’ as background information and build on it to complete the present strategic land use plan.

Some community consultation, relationship building and resource values documentation has been collected that will support resource management decisions. It is the shared goal of Cat Lake and Slate Falls to identify opportunities for sustainable resource based economic development. In 2000 the communities began work to: build relationships; conduct community consultation; document resource values information; identify traditional activity areas; conduct trapline mapping interviews; conduct community surveys; and conduct GIS mapping of burial grounds, gathering areas, old meeting places, travel routes, hunting areas, sacred sites, hunting, fishing, medicine gathering areas, family camps, calving areas, fish spawning areas, migratory birds, road/transmission access corridors, lake survey information and watershed analysis.

Additional resource inventory documentation is required, as well as the analysis of information that will form the basis for the strategic guidance for lands and resources management decisions within the planning area.

Information management

Information management will be an important component of the land use planning process. This will include consideration for data sharing and use, through data sharing agreements, and include discussion of appropriate use and protection of Indigenous Knowledge.

The primary source of information on current mining claims is MNDM’s CLAIMaps Internet site. This site maps all mining claims within Ontario. Use of information from this site is an essential part of the land use planning process.

Ontario Parks will provide information for landform/vegetation types, natural heritage features and areas and advise on the application of ecological criteria to identify, select, design, and assess candidate protected areas (representation, condition, diversity, ecological functions and special features).

The planning team will oversee communications and delegate as required, including developing and ensuring public notices are submitted as required, compiling a mailing list, initiating mailings of planning phase information, notices of meetings, and any other information deemed appropriate.

All formal input to and comments received during the process will be documented and a summary provided as a consultation record. Provincial requirements related to the collection of comments and information will be identified to the planning team. The Ministry must ensure that its responsibilities are addressed, including those under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Lands Act.

Notices required for consultation purposes under the Environmental Bill of Rights will be the primary responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The subjects and results of consultation will be considered by the planning team and incorporated into the planning process.

The planning process

Land use planning commonly follows a step wise process for decision making that is consultative in nature. Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation and the OMNR as planning partners will begin planning with a consensus on the Terms of Reference that set out the details for community-based land use planning. The Terms will be endorsed by each First Nation and the OMNR, then shared to formally begin the process. Components common to land use planning are the development of Terms of Reference, compilation of background information, analysis of planning options and the preparation of a draft and a final land use strategy.

Provincially-sourced information and data will be provided in the first phase of planning, including forest resource inventory, mineral deposits and potential, and landform/vegetation analysis of the planning area.

To bridge between Community planning and a Far North planning framework, links, information and feedback are required throughout the process. This will include an additional review of the proposed Final Strategy from a Far North perspective to build consensus on community/MNR endorsement. Timelines will be set to advise people of the process steps and consultation opportunities and to provide for completion within a reasonable time frame.

Summary of planning process phases

  • Preparations:
    • Terms of Reference
    • Funding Support
    • Collection of Background Information
  • Phase I:
    • Share Terms of Reference
    • Assemble Background Information
    • Invite participation
  • Phase II:
    • Describe objectives
    • Presentation of Interests and Opportunities
    • Open houses, Meetings
  • Phase III:
    • Prepare Draft Strategy
    • Share Draft Strategy for Review and Input
    • Open Houses, Meetings
  • Phase IV:
    • Prepare Final Strategy
    • Seek Strategy Endorsement by First Nations & Ontario
    • Share Final Strategy

The Time-frame

A three-year formal process is to begin in 2008, to address the four (4) planning phases, including consultation requirements. In addition, preparatory work including the collection of values information has been on-going since 2000. Funding support is currently being sought to complete the process within this time frame. If minor extensions to the time frame are necessary, such as for additional information gathering or consultation, public notice would be provided.

The phases of the planning process and the anticipated time frame for each phase are outlined on the next page.

Phase I

  • Terms of Reference approved
  • Background information prepared
  • Definition of vision and goal(s)
  • Relationship to Far North initiative
  • Notification of process and consultation opportunities provided through EBR Registry posting and mail-outs

Timeframe: Spring - Summer 2008 – invite interest and share Terms of Reference in EBR Registry policy proposal notice.

Phase II

  • Prepared information on existing uses, capabilities of land and resources to support new uses and special features
  • Described objectives for existing and new uses
  • Presentation of Interests and Opportunities
  • Current available information on the Far North Initiative
  • Consultation opportunities provided through meetings, Open Houses, EBR Registry posting and mail-outs, including consultation provisions associated with Far North planning initiative.

Timeframe: late Fall 2008 – open houses, meetings, EBR update notice.

Phase III

  • Prepared draft Land Use Strategy describing recommendations for proposed Land Use Dedications (i.e. zoning) and stewardship direction for land and resource use
  • Liaison with Far North to share proposed draft strategy
  • Consultation opportunities provided through meetings, Open Houses, EBR Registry postings and mail-outs, including consultation provisions associated with Far North planning initiative.

Timeframe: Fall 2009 – share Draft Strategy through open houses, meetings, EBR update notice.

Phase IV

  • Consideration of public input and summary of response provided on EBR Registry
  • Reach Far North Initiative consensus with strategy recommendations
  • Endorsement by Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation and OMNR on the final Land Use Strategy

Timeframe: Spring 2010 – share Final Strategy through EBR decision posting with summary of consultation.

The planning structure

The planning structure for community-based land use planning will reflect Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation’s community objectives, as well as landscape considerations and provincial policy direction. The planning structure allows for information sharing, extensive dialogue and consultation. This includes dialogue opportunities for stakeholders, interest groups, other local First Nations and interested citizens.

A graphic depiction of the planning structure is provided below.

Figure 4: Cat Lake-Slate Falls Planning Structure

  • Chief and Council Cat Lake First Nation Slate Falls Nation
    • Planning team
      • Cat Lake First Nation Member
      • Slate Falls Nation Member
      • Community-assigned Project Manager
      • Community Technical Support Consultant
      • MNR Sioux Lookout-Far North Planner
      • MNR Northwest Region Far North Planner
    • Community advisory groups
      • Cat Lake community members
      • Slate Falls community members
    • Technical support
      • First Nations-assigned support person MNR District/Region staff
    • Advisory team
      • Community Technical Advisors
      • MNR Area Supervisor
      • MNR Far North Manager
      • MNDM Regional Manager
      • MNDM Regional Land Use Geologist
      • MNR-Ontario Parks– Regional Manager
      • MNR-Ontario Parks– Regional Natural Heritage Specialist
      • Other advisors as appropriate to planning subjects

The Planning Team and Advisory Team

Planning team members will facilitate the process, ensure all available information and analyses are available for decision-making, and facilitate seeking advice and building consensus on recommendations. Advisors are to participate with the planning team at appropriate points to support information needs, enhance understanding of Provincial and sector interests, and provide options analysis in situations of overlapping interests. The planning team will work with MNDM and Ontario Parks through the identified advisors.

The following individuals will participate as planning team members:

  • Wilfred Wesley- Community Liaison
  • Gordon Carpenter - Community Liaison
  • Steve Winsor - Project Manager
  • Lars Ohman - Technical Support
  • Mike Pettit - MNR Sioux Lookout District Far North Planner
  • Jill Entwistle - MNR Northwest Region Far North Planner

Advisory Team members include, but are not limited to:

  • Bob Paterson - MNR Area Supervisor
  • Roy Sidders - MNR Far North Planning Manager
  • Peter Hinz - MNDM Regional Land Use Geologist
  • John Mason - MNDM Regional Manager
  • Ron Leekam - Natural Heritage Specialist - Northwest Region (Ontario Parks)
  • Tim Sullivan - Zone Manager - Northwest Region (Ontario Parks)
  • MNR- Biologist, Analyst and others as required.


Consultation will be addressed by engaging all interested people and organizations in a dialogue on land use planning through a variety of mechanisms that include; meetings, environmental registry postings, open houses and mail outs. Initial efforts to invite consultation with other local First Nation communities, resource users (tourist operators, anglers, hunters, forest industry, mineral exploration/mining industry), government, municipalities and the general public having an interest in the planning area will occur by giving direct written notice of the intent to prepare this strategic land use direction. Persons not included in the initial mailing list but who wish to become involved in the planning process will at their request have their names added to the mail out list.

A general Public Notice will be placed in the following local newspapers; Sioux Lookout Bulletin and Wawatay Newspaper. The land use strategy will also be posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). Mail outs will be sent out and meetings held to provide resource values information at each phase of the planning process in order to solicit input into the land use plan. Comments and submissions will be collected, addressing the requirements of the Public Lands Act, the Environmental Bill of Rights, the Freedom of Information Act and the Protection of Privacy Act.

Notice of Open Houses will be mailed to all names on the mail out list at least fifteen (15) days prior to the Open House. Documents that are produced through this planning exercise will be made available for public review and comment. A summary of comments will be available to the public. Open houses will be held in both Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation and in the Town of Sioux Lookout, providing both local and regional access to the consultation opportunity.

Capacity building

Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls Nation must be equipped to play a long term and meaningful role in the development of policy and regulation for the management of lands/resources within their traditional territory. It is important that capacity building be incorporated into the land use planning process so that it introduces the First Nations to the many facets of lands and resources management. Capacity building efforts will be directed to share understanding of various resource management aspects including biology, environmental science, inventory/data collection methodologies, GIS mapping, silviculture practices and sustainable forest management, parks and protected areas and geology.

Information will also be made available on resource-based development opportunities in tourism, ecotourism, forestry, mining/mineral exploration, water power development and other resource based initiatives. This dialogue will build mutual understanding during the analysis and evaluation of recommendations for strategic lands/resource direction. Capacity building will also enable the communities to identify education/technical training requirements.

Issue resolution

The land use planning exercise has been structured to incorporate on-going dialogue and feedback throughout the process. This offers a means to resolve issues and disputes concerning planning matters before recommendations for the final land use strategy are developed. Conflict resolution mechanisms will be built into each community process.

Cat Lake and Slate Falls recognizes that there are likely to be disputes and/or issues during plan production both within the first nation communities and with interested parties. A party bringing forward a dispute or issue shall provide it in writing to the Chief of each First Nation and the MNR Sioux Lookout District Manager in care of the Community-Based Land Use Planning Advisory Team with any proposed resolution.

The Chief of each Community, or a designated representative of Council, will meet with the MNR Sioux Lookout District Manager to review and develop responses. A response may be expected within 30 days following the review of the dispute or issue.


Wilfred Wesley – Cat Lake First Nation
General Delivery
Cat Lake ON
P0V 1J0

Gordon Carpenter – Slate Falls Nation
48 Lakeview Road
Slate Falls, ON
P0V 3C0

Mike Pettit, Far North Planner
Sioux Lookout District
Ministry of Natural Resources
Sioux Lookout, ON
Phone: 807-737-5039
Fax: 807-737-1813

Terms of reference

Cat Lake - Slate Falls community-based land use planning

Chief Glen Whiskeyjack of Slate Falls Nation
Date: June 3, 2008

Chief Ron Wesley of Cat Lake First Nation
Date: June 3, 2008

Bob David, District Manager, Ministry of Natural Resources
Date: June 3, 2008

Allan Willcocks, NWR Regional Director, Ministry of Natural Resources
Date: June 3, 2008

Dianne Corbett, Director – Far North Ministry of Natural Resources
Date: June 3, 2008