Little Grand Rapids First Nation
204-397-2264

Red Lake District, Ministry of Natural Resources
807-727-1334

62723
(0.04, P.R. 06 13 11)
ISBN 978-1-4435-6918-7 (Print)
ISBN 978-1-4435-6919-4 (PDF)

Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario have reached an important milestone with the completion of a final Community Based Land Use Plan for the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area. This accomplishment is the result of working together over several years in good faith and with mutual respect. The foundation has been set to continue our working relationship throughout plan implementation.

Setting a course for the well-being of future generations, the plan affirms the importance of ongoing traditional use and the First Nation’s relationship to the land. Direction in the plan emphasizes protection of this outstanding landscape and promotes opportunities for the community of Little Grand Rapids.

In 2009, as this planning process was getting underway, Ontario introduced Bill 191, the Far North Act , to previde a legal basis for planning. We are now pleased to recognize our plan under the Far North Act, 2010 , as approved by Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario. From this point forward, land use activities in the planning area must be consistent with the land use direction specified in this plan.

It is with sincere pleasure that we endorse the Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan, 2011.

Honourable Linda Jeffrey
Minister of Natural Resources
by Minister’s Order
Far North Act, 2010

Chief Martin Owens
Little Grand Rapids First Nation

Preface

Little Grand Rapids First Nation is an Ojibway-speaking community located in Manitoba, with areas of traditional use in both Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. Little Grand Rapids has led the preparation of land use direction in a separate process with each province, in a manner that will provide seamless direction across provincial boundaries.

A primary reason for Little Grand Rapids to engage in planning is for the well being of future generations. Planning can document community priorities, desired uses and opportunities, and provide strategic direction for the management of lands and resources.

Little Grand Rapids chose to define planning areas by using trapline boundaries, while recognizing that planning areas do not necessarily define Little Grand Rapids full self-described traditional land use area.

The Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan presented in this document addresses an area in the Far North of Ontario. Little Grand Rapids has worked together with Ontario to prepare this plan as part of Ontario’s Far North Planning Initiative.

This plan has been created in good faith between Little Grand Rapids First Nation and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Rooted in mutual faith and respect for both planning partners this plan provides guidance for future land use activities in the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario Planning Area. Plan approval reflects a consensus among the community member and with the province. Implementation of this land use plan will continue to be guided by this good faith and mutual respect.

Acknowledgements

The Little Grand Rapids Community Base Land Use Plan is the result of leadership, collaborative work and the support of many people - people in the community, people outside the community, people working with funding organizations, and with the province.

The plan was made possible through the leadership of Little Grand Rapids First Nation Chief and Council, the guidance of Little Grand Rapids Elders and the Little Grand Rapids people who entrusted the planning team with the responsibility to develop a land use plan. The participation and support of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forests is acknowledged. Red Lake District and Northwest Regional staff, and advisors with Far North Branch and Ontario Parks all contributed to completion of the planning process. Funding support was provided by Ontario in association with Ontario’s Far North Planning Initiative.

And we appreciate the contribution of all people and organizations providing views, perspectives and advice, including those who have participated in consultation opportunities.

Plan summary

The Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan has been produced by Little Grand Rapids First Nation, working together with Ontario. This plan addresses trapline areas held by Little Grand Rapids in the Far North of Ontario, north of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. Little Grand Rapids is also working together with the province of Manitoba to complete planning for the adjacent planning area.

Little Grand Rapids has been engaged in dialogue with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources since 2004. In 2008 Little Grand Rapids employed community planning support workers, who interviewed elders and other members of the community to document traditional land use and occupancy, identifying cultural lands, values and ecological information including detailed plant and animal information. Ontario contributed information on landforms, vegetation, fish and wildlife habitat, geology, and land use (existing and potential).

Terms of Reference were signed in 2009 to guide the three year planning process. The Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area (188,738 hectares) was described in the Terms of Reference and confirmed through the planning process.

Throughout the process, the joint Little Grand Rapids-Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources planning team engaged in regular dialogue, analyzed information and sought advice. In 2010, a draft plan was produced with proposals for land use areas and strategic direction to address the goals, objectives, and principles set out by Little Grand Rapids and Ontario, including emerging direction with the Ontario Far North Planning Initiative. This draft plan was the subject of consultation within the community, and then was publicly shared in the fall of 2010 for consideration by all interested people and organizations.

The final plan (The Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan 2011) is approved by Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario. This plan provides strategic direction to respect traditional and other existing land uses and to protect the environment. Furthermore, this plan identifies opportunities that can contribute to a stronger community economy. Direction in this plan has addressed the significant cultural and ecological features and respects adjacent communities, land uses and land use designations for areas in Ontario adjacent to the planning area

The entire Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area is designated as a protected area. This zoning will support protection of lands and waters, continued traditional use and existing and new tourism opportunities. Waterways are noted to be important for traditional use and natural heritage conservation, with potential to enhance recreation and tourism opportunities.

Additionally, Ontario shares Little Grand Rapids’ interest in exploring arrangements to continue working together in the management of lands and resources, including developing a relationship with Little Grand Rapids within the Manitoba-Ontario Interprovincial Wilderness Area.

It is noted that completion of Little Grand Rapids’ land use plan will inform the submission for the ’Pimachiowin Aki’ UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination. Little Grand Rapids is part of a seven member partnership consisting of five First Nations and the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba

Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area (188,738 ha):

The intent is to regulate the Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area as a protected area, although the specific designation and category are yet to be determined. The type of protected area and regulatory mechanism will be determined jointly by Little Grand Rapids and Ontario following approval of the plan.

Aboriginal traditional activities protected by Aboriginal and treaty rights, including (but not limited to) hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering, are ongoing. Direction is provided for other land use activities in the Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area.

The plan notes that other permitted uses are subject to confirmation in future management planning.

  • Travel by motorized boat, snow machine, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or airplane.
  • Recreational sport fishing, hunting, research/education
  • Commercial fur harvesting, commercial fishing, commercial non timber forest products, commercial tourism, wild rice harvesting, and commercial bait fishing (below the 11th baseline)

Exclud$ed uses:

  • Commercial forestry, mineral exploration, mining, commercial power generation development (hydroelectric transmission or generation, wind power), new energy transmission and communication corridors, commercial bait fishing (above the 11th baseline).
  • Road building, aggregate extraction, peat extraction.

Part A: Purpose and process

A.1. Introduction

Little Grand Rapids First Nation is an Ojibway (Saulteaux) speaking community located 257 km North East of Winnipeg. According to the regional 2003 population statistics Little Grand Rapids has an on reserve population of 989 and an off-reserve population of 282. It is through the creation of a Community Based Land Use Plan (CBLUP) that Little Grand Rapids and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) are working to address protection needs and encourage the growth of a healthy and sustainable economy, for both the community and the province, by defining opportunities associated with lands and resources.

Little Grand Rapids has been working with the OMNR since 2004. Dialogue began with Little Grand Rapids’ expression of interest in planning. In 2009, Little Grand Rapids and OMNR reached consensus on and approved a Terms of Reference for preparation of a Community Based Land Use Plan. The formal planning process took two years, moving forward within the context of community objectives, the objectives of the Pimachiowin Aki UNESCO World Heritage Site initiative, and the objectives of the Ontario Far North Planning Initiative. An additional discussion of context and relationships follows:

  • Little Grand Rapids has a close relationship based on historical and family ties with all adjacent communities including Pauingassi First Nation. Both communities expressed interest in land use planning. The communities determined that planning would be undertaken separately by each community, in concurrent processes. The communities have worked closely to share information and planning dialogue, and make the most efficient use of travel and meeting arrangements.
  • Little Grand Rapids is one of 7 partners (5 First Nation Communities and two provincial government) associated with the UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination. The signing of the Stewardship Accord in March 2002 by Poplar River, Pauingassi, Little Grand Rapids and Pikangikum First Nations affirmed land use planning as a key component of the World Heritage Site nomination. Called Pimachiown Aki (the land that gives life), the site was placed on the Canada’s tentative list in 2004. Preparing land use direction in partnership with the associated provincial agencies (Ontario and Manitoba) will lead to formal implementation of land use designations, contribute to a strong submission and further illustrate the collaborative nature of the World Heritage Site proposal.
  • When Little Grand Rapids and OMNR began a dialogue on planning in 2004, Community-based Land Use Planning policy was Ontario’s policy for planning, in association with the Northern Boreal Initiative. As planning advanced, the planning team took into account emerging direction with Ontario’s Far North Land Use Planning Initiative, the introduction of Bill 191 and approval of the Far North Act, 2010. The Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan is now approved as a plan under the Ontario Far North Act, 2010, having taken into account the objectives of the Act and met the requirements for planning.
  • Little Grand Rapids is also working together with the province of Manitoba to complete planning for the adjacent planning area. Ontario and Manitoba have an ongoing dialogue to support planning in a manner that will lead to seamless and complementary zoning and direction for activities across the provincial boundary.

Consultation opportunities have been provided during the planning process, supporting engagement in planning by the community of Little Grand Rapids, adjacent First Nations in Ontario and all interested people and parties in Ontario.

This Plan defines a land use area and strategic direction, adding to the existing framework for land and resource management in the planning area. In itself, the plan does not alter existing authority, nor does it confer new authorities. Little Grand Rapids First Nation’s relationship to the land and traditional uses will continue and are reaffirmed through the Plan. The Far North Act, 2010 (Section 14 (1)) specifies that once a community based land use plan is approved, decisions respecting the allocation, disposition or use of public land and natural resources in the area must be consistent with the land use designations and permitted uses specified in the plan and the permitted uses prescribed for the purpose of the plan.

It is hoped that this land use plan will convey a sense of the people and the land. Little Grand Rapids encourages people within and outside the community to read the plan in full, and Little Grand Rapids welcomes dialogue at any time to share perspectives, build partnerships and understanding.

The next section, Part A.2., provides guiding direction expressed as vision, goals, objectives and principles.

A.2. Guiding direction - Vision, goals, objectives and principles

Guiding direction statements have been prepared to address both preparation and implementation of the land use plan. Statements are informed by Little Grand Rapids’ historical and current relationship to the land, and by provincial goals and objectives.

The Vision, Goals and Objectives were set out in the Terms of Reference and confirmed through the first consultation opportunities in November 2009.

A set of principles are also described as they express underlying values to guide both preparation and implementation of the plan.

The direction statements are presented on the following two pages.

Vision

Little Grand Rapids’ vision statement clearly communicates a picture of the future based on the relationship of its people to this area and the need to sustain this relationship for future generations.

Little Grand Rapids First Nation vision statement

The people of Little Grand Rapids First Nation have been part of the land from time immemorial (as long as the oldest elder of our community remembers). We believe and assert that we are part of the land. Our vision for the land is very much a vision of (for) ourselves. We wish to (use) manage our traditional land (in a way) so that our people as (being) part of the land are sustained into the future. For that purpose we are engaged in the steps needed to arrive at a land use plan for our traditional land in both Manitoba and Ontario.

The planning team adopted a joint Vision Statement (between Little Grand Rapids and Ontario) to express the commitment to continue working together in a positive relationship for implementation of the plan:

Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario value their ongoing relationship, working together for the benefit and health of people, land and water.

Goals

The plan seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Strive to sustain and protect the natural world for present and future generations;
  • Identify environmentally sustainable economic developments pursuant to the strategic land use direction;
  • Little Grand Rapids seeks to contribute to management of this planning area, as it is a portion of Little Grand Rapids’ traditional land use, in which land use can support an improved community economy, training, and jobs for our people (while) based on the health of our traditional land;
  • Support and sustain Little Grand Rapids traditional knowledge, traditional land uses, and access to these lands now and for future generations; and
  • Little Grand Rapids First Nation will uphold and sustain our sovereign rights, both under Canada’s Constitution, including Section 35, and our rights under Treaty 5, while planning for this traditional land use area and the future of our community.

Objectives

The plan provides direction supporting achievement of goals by addressing the following objectives:

  • Prepare a land use plan that it is also a communication plan to share information about the relationship of the people of Little Grand Rapids First Nation in all its aspects with their land so that it is understood and sustained.
  • Support continued use of traditional lands and traditional uses and activities in both a historical, customary and current context.
  • Record and share traditional knowledge.
  • Identify opportunities that are desired and compatible within the area.
  • Harmonize objectives of Little Grand Rapids and OMNR in land use and natural resource management.
  • Define protected zones and other land use designations.
  • Take into account Ontario’s broader policy direction and Far North objectives for planning.
  • Ensure local planning decisions do not preclude broader scale options for development.

Principles

The following principles express underlying values to guide both preparation and implementation of the plan:

  • Little Grand Rapids First Nation has a duty and interest to protect and manage this land for future generations.
  • Protect, respect and celebrate sacred and ancestral places and values
  • Little Grand Rapids First Nation respects the historical and continued shared use of its traditional territory by neighbouring communities for traditional activities of; hunting, fishing, gathering, travel etc. There has always been overlap in traditional use areas between communities.
  • Recognize the area as it is part of the northern boreal forest and its ecological processes that have shaped the landscape for millennia.
  • Recognize that the continuous flow of water through this land and beyond is vital to the land and the people. Protection of water sources is of the highest importance, as is management and protection of lakes and river corridors.

Additional sources of direction for OMNR’s engagement in the preparation and implementation of the land use plan include:

  • OMNR Community Based Land Use Planning policy (2002);
  • Our Sustainable Future (2005) and Our Sustainable Future: A Renewed Call to Action (April 2011) which outlines OMNR’s vision of sustainable development and the mission of ecological sustainability, and establishes a commitment to the conservation of biodiversity;
  • OMNR’s Statement of Environmental Values under the Ontario Bill of Rights; and
  • Ontario’s Far North Planning Initiative (2008) and the Far North Act, 2010 provide direction on policy and planning. The objectives for land use planning in the Far North are provided in the Far North Act, 2010:
    1. A significant role for First Nations in planning.
    2. The protection of areas of cultural value in the Far North and the protection of ecological systems in the Far North by including at least 225,000 square kilometres of the Far North in an interconnected network of protected areas designated in community based land use plans.
    3. The maintenance of biological diversity, ecological processes and ecological functions, including the storage and sequestration of carbon in the Far North;
    4. Enabling sustainable economic development that benefits the First Nations.
This is a colour reference map that shows the Little Grand Rapids First Nation Community Based Land Use Plan straddling the Manitoba and Ontario provincial border.  It also shows the Pauingassi First Nation planning area, directly to the north, on both sides of the provincial border, and the Pikangikum First Nation planning area, to the West, in Ontario.
Figure 1: Little Grand Rapids community based land use plan - Reference map

A.3. Land use planning area

3.1 Definition of the area

The planning area is 188,738 ha in the Far North of Ontario (See Figure 1). This area has been defined as the portion of Little Grand Rapids’ self-described traditional territory that falls within the Far North of Ontario, defined by traplines held by members of Little Grand Rapids First Nation, whose relationship to the province of Ontario is established through Treaty #5 and the Constitution (excluding those traplines or portions thereof that are within Woodland Caribou Provincial Park). Traplines do not necessarily represent the complete historical land use and occupancy of Little Grand Rapids First Nation, however, for the purpose of the land use plan, traplines provided a reasonable approach to map the planning area with respect for neighbouring communities.

3.2 Adjacent areas

The Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area is west of the area defined by Pikangikum First Nation as the Whitefeather Forest, north of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, south of an area described by Pauingassi First Nation as part of their Ontario planning area and west of an area described by Poplar Hill First Nation as part their trapline area. Other planning and administrative boundaries which are directly relevant to this initiative are noted in Figure 1 and include: Ontario’s Far North; Woodland Caribou Signature Site; the Manitoba border. The surrounding communities of Red Lake, Pikangikum First Nation, and Poplar Hill First Nation are noted in Figure 1.

3.3. Adjacent First Nations’ shared areas of interest

Little Grand Rapids First Nation recognizes that the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area may include areas of ongoing traditional use by other First Nation(s); these areas are referred to as ’shared areas’. First Nations honour and respect these customary relationships with the land and with each other.

During the preparation of this plan, Little Grand Rapids First Nation and the adjacent First Nations of Pauingassi, Poplar Hill and Pikangikum discussed their relationships to the planning area and interests in land use direction. In plan implementation, the First Nations will continue to discuss common interests consistent with the customary relationship between/among communities. Similarly, Little Grand Rapids is engaged in a dialogue with other communities when they are leading preparation of a land use plan.

3.4 Description of the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area

The next sections describe culture and history, land uses, and land and resource characteristics.

3.4.1 Culture and history

Historical use of the land as defined by Little Grand Rapids includes customary land uses around traplines. It also includes use of travel routes to access trap lines and activities carried out along the way such as camping, making fires, tea breaks, rests, berry picking, fishing, and hunting.

The culture and history of this area is primarily informed by the relationship of Little Grand Rapids, an Anishinaabe speaking community located in Manitoba. In the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area, cultural features on the landscape such as pictographs, burial and ceremonial sites have been mapped and documented as having both historical and current relevance to the people of Little Grand Rapids.

3.4.2 Current Little Grand Rapids land uses

In the present day, Little Grand Rapids First Nation members spend time on the land doing a variety of ongoing customary activities outside the community site. Traditional land uses include traditional pursuits protected by Aboriginal and treaty rights (including but not limited to trapping, hunting, and fishing) and other historical livelihood activities carried out in a traditional and/or current manner. Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • hunting and fishing (personal and shared use), commercial fishing, trapping (personal and shared community use; licensed, non licensed)
  • use of travel routes to access trap lines and activities carried out along the way such as camping, making fires, tea breaks, rests, berry picking, fishing, and hunting
  • travel by canoe, boat, motorized vehicles, snowmobile, plane and floatplane
  • guiding, camping, staying in cabins
  • gathering medicinal plants (personal and shared use) and gathering non-timber forest products (e.g. berries, herbs, mushrooms – for personal and shared use)
  • cutting firewood
  • swimming in lakes and rivers
  • sacred sites/ceremonial sites
  • wild rice harvest (for personal use)
  • ceremonies, events, gatherings.

First Nation communities adjacent or near to this planning area note that their community members also spend time in this area pursuing traditional activities (Poplar Hill, Pauingassi, and Pikangikum).

Caribou hunts are rarely planned and usually occur by chance. Moose are preferred as a food source because of the reliability of hunting success and the large quantity of meat that is obtained. The products of the “kill” are generally shared with members of the hunting parties’ families.

There are two main historic waterways that flow through the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area, the Berens and Keeper River systems. These waterways are valued travel routes that have been used by the people of Little Grand Rapids since time immemorial.

3.4.3 Other land uses and tenure (existing and/or historical)

Tourism currently includes a number of fishing and hunting lodges and outfitters and ten remote commercial outpost camps. OMNR has identified additional lakes (unnamed lakes) that could support recreational fishing and hunting and new tourism opportunities. Associated with tourism as a land use, there are several boat caches located within the planning area.

The planning area includes licensed bear management areas (Crown Land where bear hunting is regulated). These areas typically have potential bear habitat, and tourist outfitters or guides licensed to hunt bear. There is one licensed wild rice harvest area on an unnamed lake west of Herod Lake. Historically, there were 5 commercial fishing licences in the planning area. The last commercial fishing licence ended in 1998 due to limited markets.

There are two private recreation camps and there are two patent land blocks on Spoonbill Lake. Recreational use is common on the two main historic waterways that flow through Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area - the Berens and Keeper River system including the Malette River.

3.4.4 Lands and resources

The planning area is situated entirely in the Boreal Forest Region and is represented by ecoregions 3S and 4S. They are dominated by conifer stands, consisting primarily of jack pine and black spruce. Topography is gently rolling. The lands and resources are described under the following headings: water and wetlands, geology, climate, forests, fish, birds, waterfowl, reptiles, and wildlife.

Water, wetlands

Waters are vital to First Nation communities that have existed here for thousands of years, depending on waters for fishing, travel, wild rice plantations, and drinking water. Healthy rivers and lakes are a cultural and spiritual necessity for First Nation communities.

Water generally flows from east to west; Drainage is generally towards Lake Winnipeg with many lakes, rivers, streams and rapids. Low falls occur where there are bedrock outcrops along rivers and streams.

Geology

The geology of the area can be divided into bedrock and surficial components:

  • Bedrock geology is dominated by 2.7 to 3 billion year old rocks of the Canadian Shield composed of granite, gneisses, and ancient volcanic rocks (e.g. basalt, gabbro). Located west of the traditional territory is a younger geological formation of 400 to 500 million-year-old rocks composed of limestone and sandstone.
  • Surficial geology can be generally described by:
    • Organic deposits found in bogs, fens, and swamp areas where organic (plant) material settles. Organic deposits include peat, muck, and some inorganic sediment;
    • ‘Undivided’ rock with minor Quaternary deposits from about 1.8 million years ago to the present;
    • Till Veneer as a thin layer of till that is not continuous over the landscape and may include areas of rock outcrop. Till is sediment, generally consisting of well-compacted material that is layered and contains a mixture of sand, silt, and clay particles and coarse fragments; and
    • Fine grained (glacio) lacustrine sediments generally consist of layered fine sand, silt, and clay deposited on an ancient lakebed, near lakeshore, or on a beach.

Climate

The Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area falls within the Sub Humid Mid-Boreal Eco Climactic Region, with its climate classified as continental, characterized as cold to moderately cold and snowy during the winter and warm and moist during the summer. The area is influenced by weather systems originating over the land to west, north and south. Climate of the area is also modified by the maritime influences of Hudson Bay, Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg which exert a moderating influence on temperatures and increase humidity.

This area experiences a warm summer with mean temperatures of 14°C and very cold winters with a mean winter temperature of -14.5°C. Mean annual temperature for the area as a whole is -0.4° C and the average frost-free period ranges from 80-120 days. The region is considered to be sub humid to humid with 400 to 460 mm of precipitation. The growing season is between 130 and 170 days.

Forests

The Little Grand Rapids–Ontario planning area is situated entirely in the Boreal Forest Region The forest is characterized by black spruce and jack pine stands with some paper birch. There are also abundant coniferous and mixed forest stands. Coniferous forest stands contain white spruce, balsam fir, and black spruce. Mixed forests stands in the area contain trembling aspen, balsam poplar, white birch, white spruces and some balsam fir.

Fish

Walleye, sauger, perch, northern pike, whitefish and lake trout can be found throughout the planning area. Sturgeon is found in the upper Berens River east of the planning area, but is not a confirmed species within the planning area. Lake sturgeon in the Berens River is classified under the Endangered Species Act, (2007)as a Threatened Species.

Birds, waterfowl and reptiles

Bird species include the spruce grouse, herring gull, double-crested cormorant, bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey, great horned owl, short eared owl, red-tailed hawk, sharp-tailed grouse, willow ptarmigan, common nighthawk, Canada warbler, olive-sided flycatcher, whip-poor-will, raven, gray jay, hawk owl, among others. Geese, ducks and other waterfowl are seasonally hunted. Bald eagles are considered sacred and their locations are noted. Bird species in the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area classified under the Endangered Species Act, (2007) are: golden eagle (Endangered), whip-poor-will and American white pelican (Threatened), bald eagle, short eared owl, common nighthawk, Canada warbler and olive-sided flycatcher (Species of Special Concern).

Snapping turtles are also present in the planning area. Snapping turtles are classified under the Endangered Species Act, (2007) as a Species of Special Concern.

Wildlife

Wildlife species typical of this area include wolf, lynx, ermine, fisher, mink, moose, black bear, woodland caribou, red squirrel, snowshoe hare, lynx, wolverine, fisher, otter, pine marten, beaver, short-tailed weasel, red-backed vole, and least chipmunk.

Prominent mammals are moose and woodland caribou. Beaver and muskrat not only provide valuable furs, but also good meat or eating, as do rabbits and “bush chickens” (spruce grouse in particular). Otters, bear, wolf, fox, mink, fisher, ermine, squirrel and marten are trapped for their furs.

Wildlife species in the planning area that are classified under the Endangered Species Act, (2007) are: woodland caribou and wolverine (both classified as Threatened). Mountain lion (or cougar) (classified as Endangered) may be present in this area.

A.4. Process & consultation

Process and consultation requirement were set out in the Terms of Reference and have been followed, with timelines revised as necessary. Four phases were addressed to complete the final land use plan over a 2-3 year timeframe. The first two phases were combined to provide sufficient information to support a meaningful consultation opportunity. Key components of each phase with updated timelines are:

Phase 1 & 2 fall/winter 2008/09

  • Terms of Reference were endorsed on April 24, 2009.
  • An Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights Environmental Registry policy proposal for the Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan was posted on October 16, 2009 (010-7335).
  • Background information was assembled and interests and opportunities were identified.
  • Little Grand Rapids led dialogue within the community and with adjacent First Nation communities.
  • Public consultation opportunities were provided in meetings and at open houses in Red Lake, Ontario; Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi.

Phase 3 spring to fall 2010

  • A Draft Plan was produced with proposed zoning and strategic direction for activities, then shared broadly to seek input and build consensus on proposals.
  • Environmental Registry posting 010-7335 was updated to provide the Draft Plan and information on consultation opportunities, including notice of open houses.
  • An Environmental Registry policy proposal was posted (011-1602) addressing a proposed major amendment to the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas to incorporate the direction of the Little Grand Rapids Draft Plan.
  • Public consultation opportunities were provided in meetings and open houses in Red Lake, Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi.

Phase 4 winter 2011

  • The Final Plan was produced, considering comments from Phase 3.
  • Endorsements proceeded through approval processes (First Nation and OMNR) reflecting a consensus on the land use plan.
  • Environmental Registry decision notices for the Final Plan and the major amendment to the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas were posted.

Consultation

In this planning process, consultation opportunities were designed to provide for engagement and input from:

  • Little Grand Rapids First Nation community;
  • adjacent First Nations; and
  • the Ontario public at large, interested parties and stakeholders.

A description of consultation opportunities is provided on the next two pages.

Little Grand Rapids community consultation:

Little Grand Rapids led consultation within the community, providing opportunities designed to encourage members to become involved and express their views and interests. Community members have also supported the planning dialogue mapping and sharing their understanding of traditional knowledge, complementing existing information and science. Throughout 2009, interviews were held with elders and other members of the community to collect traditional land use and occupancy information.

In addition to regular dialogue on planning within the community, led by the Community Planning Coordinator, two open houses were held in Little Grand Rapids:

  • On November 6th 2009 an open house was held to share the Terms of Reference, background information and analysis of capabilities and opportunities. The open house provided community members the opportunity to discuss the importance of land use planning, and provide personal inputs into the planning process. Approximately 30 people from Little Grand Rapids attended the community open house and shared their opinions and experiences with the planning team.
  • On October 5th 2010 a second open house was held to share and discuss the proposals in the Draft Land Use Plan. Approximately 20 people from Little Grand Rapids attended the community open house.
  • On May 11th, 2011 an information session was held to share and discuss the land use plan prior to sign off. Approximately 40 people from Little Grand Rapids attended the community information session.

Little Grand Rapids’ approval of the plan reflects a community consensus.

Adjacent community consultation:

Little Grand Rapids led consultation with adjacent First Nations including:

  • In 2009, individuals from Pikangikum, Poplar Hill and Pauingassi attended the first open house in Red Lake.
  • In 2010, Little Grand Rapids met with Poplar Hill to discuss the Draft Plan and proposed land use designations.
  • In 2010, individuals from Pikangikum, Poplar Hill and Deer Lake attended the second open house to view the Draft Plan in Red Lake.
  • In 2011, Little Grand Rapids met with individuals from Poplar Hill to discuss the land use plan and reach shared understandings and consensus of the plan.
  • In 2011, Little Grand Rapids presented the material on their plan to a Northern Chiefs tribal council workshop.

Public consultation:

Little Grand Rapids and OMNR facilitated an open, consultative process to provide all interested people and organizations with the opportunity to participate, become familiar with proposals and provide input. Invitations to participate were distributed broadly, including to resource sector contacts and organizations, ENGOs, municipality of Red Lake and local citizens, First Nations and tribal councils. Consultation opportunities were provided by:

  • Notice of the project and consultation opportunities by newspaper, mail, and phone calls;
  • Notice of the planning team contact information;
  • Sharing of documents electronically and on request;
  • Environmental Bill of Rights - Environmental Registry Policy Proposal notice 010-7335:
    • Posted October 16, 2009 for a 45-day comment period at the Invitation to Participate, Terms of Reference and Objectives and Opportunities stage;
    • Republished November 23, 2010 to provide for a 45-day comment period at the Draft Plan stage;
  • Environmental Bill of Rights - Environmental Registry Policy Proposal notice 011-1602 posted concurrently with the Draft Plan, addressing a proposed major amendment to the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas to incorporate the direction of the Pauingassi Plan:
  • Open house events in Red Lake were held at two progress points:
    • November 3, 2009 to view information, contribute information and to ask questions of the planning team regarding the planning process and expected outcomes.
    • December 9, 2010, to share the Draft Plan and invite comment on proposals for land use areas and strategic direction.
  • Prior to the second open house an information session was offered for the following sector groups: Mineral Sector, Tourism, and Environmental Non-Government Organizations. Representatives of the tourism sector participated.

A summary of the consultation undertaken with this project is on record and available at the Red Lake District Office. A summary of the effect of consultation input on preparation of the plan is available on the Environmental Registry, EBR Registry Number 010-7334.

There were no responses provided to the Environmental Registry posting 010-7334. Comments provided to the planning team at open house events were verbal. Key messages provided verbally included support for Little Grand Rapids’ planning process and interest in the plan development, along with a request for clarification of the approach to protect existing tourism interests while considering new opportunities.

A.5. Information summary

Information from all sources has supported the planning process. Primary information sources were Little Grand Rapids, OMNR and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forests (MNDMF):

  • Little Grand Rapids adopted a data collection program to support the development of the plan. Local individuals were trained in indigenous data collection, documenting the land uses and occupancy of the Little Grand Rapids First Nation members for the planning area and beyond. Indigenous data collection addressed cultural lands, values and ecological information as well as detailed plant and animal information.
  • OMNR provided information on landforms and vegetation interpreted from satellite mapping, as well as the results of field surveys (e.g. fish and wildlife surveys) and available analysis of recreation potential, hydro potential and provincially significant natural heritage features. During the planning process, proposed protected areas were evaluated for their representation of landform/vegetation complexes and enduring features.
  • MNDF provided information on the bedrock and surficial geology of the planning area, including evaluation of areas of mineral potential and historical records.

A full data and map list, with sources of information is available on request. A summary of mapped information follows:

Cultural values

Little Grand Rapids has mapped locations and areas that the families of Little Grand Rapids members have used for generations for fishing, trapping and hunting, and trap line areas. Cultural values information is held by Little Grand Rapids and not provided on publicly shared maps. With interpretation by Little Grand Rapids, cultural values information supports decision making.

Natural heritage:

Maps identify eco-regions, fire history (year and location of fires across the region), woodland caribou and wolverine distribution, watersheds, land cover, and areas of Provincial interest for the protection of natural heritage landforms and features.

Provincially Significant Mineral Potential (PSMP):

MNDF conducted a PSMP study of the planning area to assist with definition of land use areas and designations. In a PSMP study, a qualified Professional Geologist uses all available geoscientific information to assess an area to quantify the likelihood of finding an economic mineral resource that could reasonably add value to Ontario’s economy. The Ontario Geological Survey Open File Report 6141 (2008) sets out the methodology.

Recreation and tourism map:

Identifies outposts, boat caches and potential outpost lakes.

Land Tenure:

Identifies Bear Management Areas and wild rice licence areas.

Part B: Land use plan zoning

The Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan provides direction for the future. The plan supports the achievement of community and provincial objectives by providing certainty for activities and by providing guidance for subsequent resource management and decision-making processes. The plan takes into consideration local and broad scale contexts, implications for and linkages with adjacent communities and existing land uses and plans.

Part B presents the land use plan zoning, describing:

  1. Preparing plan direction;
  2. Achieving goals and objectives;
  3. Zoning (land use areas, land use intent and activities for each area); and,
  4. Strategic direction (all activities; specific activities, and management of lands and resources).

B.1. Preparing plan direction

The joint planning team was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing direction to achieve goals and objectives, guided by the community and the province, and considering consultation input. Initially, the planning team developed an understanding of the process, information and planning tools, in which:

  • zoning maps land use areas where land use activities are both desirable and compatible;
  • strategic direction guides the manner in which activities should take place during implementation of the plan; and
  • existing policy and subsequent planning processes (e.g. resource management planning, environmental assessment) also support achievement of objectives.

With that understanding, the planning team proceeded to:

  • assemble information describing the planning area’s land and resource capabilities;
  • map sensitive and vulnerable areas;
  • identify possible activities and economic development opportunities;
  • map locations suitable for activities and describes any potential conflicts;
  • assign areas to a land use designation supporting those desired and compatible activities (dedicated protected area, enhanced management area, general use area); and
  • describe strategic direction and implementation actions to achieve opportunities.

A consensus-based decision making approach was followed, including consideration of all input from engagement and consultation opportunities. The planning process relied on a positive open dialogue and engagement of the community, including advice from Little Grand Rapids Elders and Trappers. The best available information supported decision making, including recorded and mapped Aboriginal traditional knowledge and the information and expertise brought forward by provincial agencies, OMNR and MNDF.

The planning team provided direction in accordance with an emphasis on protection, to support ongoing traditional use, tourism activities and achievement of potential opportunities in the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site nomination. Waterways were highlighted as notable landscape features supporting traditional use, tourism, recreational use. Future resource management and activities planning will continue to emphasize protection of these waterway features.

B.2. Addressing goals and objectives

The plan and its implementation will contribute to the achievement of the shared goals and objectives of Little Grand Rapids and Ontario in the following manner:

  • Little Grand Rapids First Nation has had a significant role in planning, leading the planning process contributing Little Grand Rapids’ Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and guidance, and working together with Ontario;
  • The plan contributes to Little Grand Rapids First Nation’s objective of achieving a linked network of protected areas that supports the UNESCO World Heritage Site proposal “Pimachiowin Aki”;
  • The planning area’s natural heritage and cultural values are highlighted and protected. Protection of life on the land will support the sustainability of the provisions of the land such as medicinal plants and the harmony of people and the land;
  • Opportunities for pursuit of economic developments are highlighted in this plan and also through the WHS proposal, including protected area management, tourism, non-timber forest products (NTFP), recreation, research and education. Little Grand Rapids interests in opportunities that may be associated with increased tourism and job creation are emphasized;
  • The Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area contributes to achievement of a connected, contiguous protected area of over a million hectares supporting the interconnection of protected areas. (Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, Atikaki Wilderness Park, Whitefeather Cheemuhnuhcheecheekuhtaykeehn);
  • The plan supports protection of habitat for species at risk including summer and wintering habitat and calving areas for woodland caribou throughout the entire planning area. This landscape (planning area) is represented predominately by young jack pine and black spruce forest mix on a bedrock plateau interspersed with some large tracts of mature conifer forest. The conifer dominated forest will continue to provide valuable wintering habitat potential consistent with woodland caribou’s life history strategies that are well adapted to large scale disturbances. Interconnection of the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario protected area within the larger complex of protected areas will also contribute to support the needs of woodland caribou in the area, providing travel corridors and substantial habitat to protect life cycle requirements for species at risk.
  • The plan supports efforts in climate change mitigation and sequestration of carbon by protection of forests and peatlands.

Overall, the design of this plan focuses on protection and economic development opportunities, within the context of the Little Grand Rapids First Nation relationship to this area.

B.3. Zoning

The Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area is designated as one zone (See Figure 2):

The Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area zone is to support protection of lands and waters, continued traditional use and existing and new tourism opportunities. The type of protected area and regulatory mechanism is to be determined jointly by Little Grand Rapids and Ontario in a separate cross-cultural dialogue.

Several waterways flowing through the planning area are noted to be important for traditional use and natural heritage conservation. Significant cultural and ecological values are associated with these waterways and they have been identified as historical travel routes. These waterways will have continued traditional use and require a high level of protection of values. They may also offer distinct opportunities for activities such as tourism, guiding, cultural interpretation, research studies, etc., providing economic benefits.

Additional zoning at a resource management planning level (e.g., protected area planning) will be considered to emphasize the importance of waterways and promote complementary activities and to protect special cultural sites identified by the community will be addressed in future management planning. (These sites are not made public).

Description of zone and direction

Zone: Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area

Size: 188,738 ha

Description:

Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area (LGR-DPA) is located immediately north of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, adjacent to the Manitoba border. This landscape includes numerous lakes, such as Sharpstone, Spoonbill and Moar Lakes, each having clusters of ecological and cultural features. The LGR-DPA is traversed by a network of summer and winter traditional travel routes which are evidence of its rich cultural heritage. The headwaters of the Keeper River System, which flows northwest into the Berens River is located within the LGR-DPA. Also within the LGR-DPA and south of these river systems is the Dogskin waterway. First Nation people conduct various traditional activities on this land for livelihood and cultural purposes.

No roads exist in the LGR-DPA. There are eleven remote tourism base lodges and outpost operators as well as twenty three registered commercial boat caches and one private boat cache.

Current land use management in the area includes six bear management areas, bait fish blocks, traplines, two wild rice harvesting licences, and a commercial fishing licence. The area is within the Wildlife Management Unit 2 and 1C. The area is capable of supporting additional tourism and recreation opportunities based, focussed on appreciation of boreal ecological and cultural landscapes e.g. eco-tourism, provision of guided activities such as canoeing hiking and interpretation of features and values).

The LGR-DPA is notable for its clear water lakes with healthy lake trout populations. Indigenous knowledge and wildlife surveys confirm the presence of woodland caribou and wolverine in the LGR-DPA, including woodland caribou summer range and winter habitat.

Land use intent:

The LGR-DPA will be regulated as a protected area, although the specific designation and category have not been determined. The purpose of the designation is to promote protection objectives while supporting continuation of traditional uses and existing tourism, and to contribute to social and economic objectives by advancing potential for new tourism opportunities and inclusion in the Pimachiowin-Aki World Heritage Site nomination.

The land use intent recognizes the importance of waterways as historical travel routes having significant cultural and ecological values and promotes activities that are complementary to protection of those values, including protection of special cultural sites identified by the community.

This designation will protect specific values or features on the landscape that represent Ontario’s geological, aquatic and terrestrial diversity, protect landscapes of natural or cultural significance and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological integrity. The area will continue to provide support for species at risk, including woodland caribou and wolverine.

Management direction:

Pending confirmation of the category of protected area, this direction is interim; Additional specific direction will be provided accompanying the decision on a protected area category and by future resource management planning.

Aboriginal traditional activities protected by Aboriginal and treaty rights which include (but are not limited to) hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering are ongoing and will continue to be managed by Little Grand Rapids First Nation. The following interim direction is provided for other land use activities in the Little Grand Rapids Dedicated Protected Area:

Other permitted uses:

  • Travel by motorized boat, snow machine, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or airplane.
  • Recreational sport fishing, hunting, research/education.
  • Commercial fur harvesting, commercial non timber forest products (NTFP), commercial fishing, commercial tourism, wild rice harvesting and commercial bait fishing (south of the 11th baseline).

Excluded uses:

  • Commercial forestry, mineral exploration, mining, commercial hydroelectric development (transmission or generation), commercial wind power development, new energy transmission and communication corridors and commercial bait fishing (north of the 11th baseline).
  • Road building, aggregate extraction, peat extraction.
This is a colour reference map that shows the detailed land use areas within the Little Grand Rapids First Nation Community Based Land Use Plan.  It shows the Little Grand Rapids First Nation Dedicated Protected Area, which encompasses the entire planning area in Ontario and a smaller area in Manitoba.  It also shows two areas on the Manitoba side labelled 1 and 2, that are Enhanced Management Areas.” r, and the Pikangikum First Nation planning area, to the West, in Ontario.”
Figure 2: Little Grand Rapids community based land use plan - Land use areas

B.4. Strategic direction:

The following direction will guide how the land use plan is to be implemented and how activities and developments should take place in a manner consistent with the plan’s stated goals and objectives. Specifics of land and resource use management are considered and confirmed through subsequent processes (e.g. resource management planning, environmental assessment). Strategic level direction is not intended to address specific management actions.

B.4.1 Direction for all land uses:

Little Grand Rapids First Nation and the OMNR acknowledge that the preparation and implementation of this lands use plan will respect Aboriginal and treaty rights and rights under the Canadian Constitution, in particular Section 35 and will be consistent with/will not alter existing provincial legislation and will be within the bounds of provincial policy.

All land uses will take place in a manner that:

  • respects Little Grand Rapids’ traditional use and stewardship of these traditional lands as a recognized foundation that will help inform the use and management of these lands and waters and provide continuity in the connection of First Nation people to the land for past and future generations. Strategic direction is to:
    • bring forward traditional use and resource stewardship traditions, teachings and practices as part of a conservation approach (providing for care of the land);
    • make decisions based upon traditional values, teachings/methods and knowledge, along with science, providing the best knowledge currently available in terms of forests, land, water, wildlife, plants and fish management;
  • recognizes the importance of:
    • encouraging training for youth in the future lands and resources management and opportunities;
    • building respectful, sharing relationships; and
    • relying upon the knowledge and teachings of elders.
  • relies upon an ongoing knowledge base, evaluation and recommendations for best management practices and protection measures to:
    • support the ongoing health of the boreal forest;
    • promote healthy watersheds;
    • provide a continuous supply of fish & wildlife habitat, including for species at risk; and
    • protect cultural & natural heritage values from negative impacts.
  • affirms access to cultural and special sites will be solely for community members unless otherwise designated. Little Grand Rapids will identify those special sites that require additional protection measures.
  • recognizes the importance of identifying and supporting achievement of economic development opportunities that could benefit the members of Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario;
  • respects existing stakeholder interests;
  • supports definition and promotion of opportunities to mitigate climate change;
  • applies current/emerging science and expertise to recommend measures in management planning that can protect ecological processes and retain the value of stored carbon in the boreal forest and ground;
  • recognizes the importance of ongoing learning from experience (i.e., adaptive management) for land use activities and resource management planning;
  • respects the land and resources and retains the integrity of the area;
  • considers local to broad scale aspects of all land uses (e.g., ecological, geographic) and cumulative effects (temporal &/or spatial);
  • in the face of uncertainty or risk, uses the precautionary principle to make decisions about land use and management. The precautionary principle’ involves acting to avoid serious or potential harm to people or the environment where there is scientific uncertainty about likelihood, magnitude, or source of that harm.

B.4.2 Additional direction for specific land use activities

Traditional uses
  • Fishing and hunting for food by community members is a priority.
  • Community members building hunting and trapping cabins in the planning area are encouraged to identify their location to OMNR for the purpose of fire suppression and protection of natural and cultural values.
  • Community members will continue to use and maintain snow machine trails for winter access to trap lines and cabins.
  • Little Grand Rapids will address direction for traditional uses in all future protected areas and resource management planning.
Commercial trapping
  • Commercial trapping can continue in the planning area.
  • Little Grand Rapids direction for commercial trapping is based on the customary stewardship approach of the community and consistent with Ontario policies, including;
  • All trap lines must be held by community members. If a trap line is not held by a community member it will be held in common by the community.
  • Little Grand Rapids will pursue creation of a “Trapping Council” in the community, proposing that the Trapping Council would;
    • develop management policies consistent with Ontario regulations;
    • pursue the ability to sell commercial trapping licenses;
    • review any proposed changes in head trapper for each Ontario trap line.
Renewable energy development
  • Little Grand Rapids will identify locations to be considered for community members’ energy use/needs.
  • Acceptable proposals for energy development would include small-scale (i.e. non-commercial, stand alone) micro-hydro, wind, solar and geothermal (e.g., supporting lodges, outpost camps, trap cabins, etc.)
  • Additional direction may be provided within a management plan for the protected area.
Recreation
  • Opportunities for Little Grand Rapids to benefit economically will be pursued in the planning and management of the protected area (e.g. partnerships, business opportunities, and participation in management.)
  • Sport fishing and hunting will continue as a land use activity in the planning area following Ontario regulations.
  • Private motor boat use is permitted. Existing boat caches are permitted except where protected area objectives or values are threatened. New activities will be subject to review.
  • Access by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and aircraft is permitted, except where dedicated protected area values or objectives may be compromised.
  • Long term direction will be provided through Little Grand Rapids-Ontario dialogue, classification, and management planning.
Commercial fishing
  • Little Grand Rapids can bring forward proposals for commercial fishing opportunities in the planning area.
  • Proposals for new licenses will be subject to a review by OMNR, together with Little Grand Rapids.
Forestry
  • Commercial forestry is not permitted in the planning area.
  • Cutting trees may be permitted for personal use, e.g., for camps, building cabins or fire wood; Additional direction will be provided within a management plan for the protected area.
  • No trees will be harvested in specified sensitive natural and cultural heritage areas.
Commercial non-timber forest products (NTFP)
  • Direction to support potential for commercial NTFP opportunities will be addressed in the management plan for a protected area.
Tourism:
  • Potential new opportunities will be considered jointly by Ontario and Little Grand Rapids (in light of the objectives) to determine whether, and how the opportunity will be pursued. The jointly-developed management plan for the proposed protected area may also provide direction on available opportunities.
  • Recognize interest in planning new community-based tourism initiatives and promote First Nation owned operations for new tourism ventures.
  • Encourage building new partnerships with existing tourism operations.
  • Respect existing stakeholder interests and build a positive relationship between existing tourism operations and Little Grand Rapids community.
  • New and existing tourism establishments must operate in accordance with environmental standards and regulations, and in some cases incorporate enhanced Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for water quality protection (i.e. septic systems).

New commercial activities in the planning area (e.g. sale of water) are subject to review for consistency with the dedicated protected area objectives and values. Additional direction may be provided in a management plan.

Best management practices will be used to manage human waste, garbage, effluent in the protected area.

For tourism and recreation, fuel caches for existing licensed operations will be maintained per the current license. In the future best practices will be reviewed and new conditions may be recommended for the operations.

B.4.3 Additional direction regarding management of lands and resources

Fisheries and wildlife management
  • Little Grand Rapids will participate in dialogue with Ontario to bring forward the community’s interests in management direction for sustainable fisheries resources and wildlife management.
Species at risk (Endangered Species Act, 2007)
  • OMNR and Little Grand Rapids will work together to explore opportunities for joint research projects, gathering information and youth education projects.
  • Little Grand Rapids traditional knowledge will be brought forward together with science (Ontario’s Species at Risk program) to further protect habitat and the needs of species at risk.
Fire management / suppression
  • All fire fighting fuel caches will be mapped. If fuel caches are in a sensitive area they will be moved.
  • Little Grand Rapids and OMNR will develop a fire management plan for the protected area management plan. This plan can include identification of high value sites identified by Little Grand Rapids (e.g. cultural sites, cabins) and include identification of appropriate locations of fire fuel caches to avoid sensitive areas.
Protected area management
  • Little Grand Rapids will participate jointly with Ontario to prepare management plans and implement direction.
  • Little Grand Rapids will continue to participate in dialogue for opportunities associated with the World Heritage Site nomination and protected areas.

Part C: Implementation

The Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan 2011 is endorsed by Little Grand Rapids First Nation under a Band Council Resolution and by Minister’s Order, the Far North Act, 2010.

Implementation of this plan will follow direction provided, with success measured by the achievement of Little Grand Rapids and OMNR shared objectives set out in section A.2. A joint plan implementation approach will be described by Little Grand Rapids First Nation and OMNR. Implementation will take place respecting that dialogue will continue regarding Dedicated Protected Areas and the overlapping land use interests of Pauingassi First Nation, Poplar Hill First Nation and Pikangikum First Nation.

The Far North Act, 2010 (Section 14 (1)) specifies that once a community based land use plan is approved, decisions respecting the allocation, disposition or use of public land and natural resources in the area must be consistent with the land use designations and permitted uses specified in the plan and the permitted uses prescribed for the purpose of the plan. In itself, the plan does not alter existing authority, nor does it confer new authorities. Little Grand Rapids First Nation’s relationship to the land and traditional uses will continue and are reaffirmed through the plan.

Subsequent to this plan, land and resource allocations, resource management planning (e.g. protected area management planning) and resource management activities will be subject to the OMNR obligations under the Environmental Assessment Act and other relevant legislation such as the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and the Public Lands Act.

C.1 Implementation actions

Providing land use direction for the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area is an important step. To implement the plan, the following actions will be taken:

  1. For the Dedicated Protected Area, Little Grand Rapids First Nation and the OMNR will;
    • determine final protected area regulatory mechanism and designation category(ies) in subsequent agreements (the types of protected area designations available would include existing under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and may include new types associated with the Far North Planning Initiative);
    • provide public consultation opportunities during the process when the protected areas are regulated and /or new policy direction is provided;
    • prepare a management plan; and
    • through dialogue, Little Grand Rapids and the OMNR will pursue an arrangement for the collaborative management of the protected area in Ontario.
  2. Propose a joint approach for future decision making, with respect for Aboriginal and treaty rights, considering:
    • development of future resource management plans;
    • all information sources including Little Grand Rapids’ indigenous knowledge and science;
    • new uses as they can contribute to land use plan objectives, including desire for an improved community economy, training, and jobs for Little Grand Rapids First Nation people.
  3. Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario will continue to work with their partners to prepare supporting documentation for the development of the Pimachiowin Aki UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination.
  4. Little Grand Rapids First Nation will pursue a dialogue with OMNR to address the creation of a Community Trapping Council (Section B.4.2).
  5. Little Grand Rapids First Nation will continue to work together with adjacent communities through First Nation to First Nation discussions on shared interests and opportunities, including with neighbours Poplar Hill, Pauingassi and Pikangikum First Nation. Based on a recent meeting in May 2011, Little Grand Rapids recognizes that Poplar Hill has identified a shared interest on Moar Lake.
  6. Little Grand Rapids will determine interest in, and may initiate a place naming (Geonaming) project with OMNR.

C.2 Monitoring plan achievement

Monitoring achievements is important to assess progress and the effectiveness of the plan, and to support formal plan review and renewal. Little Grand Rapids and OMNR will describe a joint approach to monitor ongoing achievement of the plan objectives.

C.3 Review and renewal

The plan is a living document. It will be kept current and active by continuing to update information and providing documentation of implementation successes and issues. A consensus-based protocol between Little Grand Rapids First Nation and the OMNR will be provided to consider requests for amendments and provide opportunities for public input, if required.

Periodically, the effectiveness of direction and decisions contained in the plan will need to be re-evaluated. A formal review will take place once every fifteen years, beginning in 2026, following a joint process similar to that taken in preparation of the plan.

Thank you for your interest in our Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan. We encourage you to contact the Little Grand Rapids community and the OMNR with your views, questions or comments on this plan.

Contacts:

Augustine Keeper,
Land Use Planning Coordinator
Little Grand Rapids First Nation (204) 397-2264

Lee Gerrish,
Far North Planner Red Lake District,
Ministry of Natural Resources (807) 727-1334

Updated: June 18, 2021
Published: January 10, 2018