Prepared by: Simon Frogg, Wawakepewin First Nation, in discussion with the Ministry of Natural Resources

July 14, 2014

Wawakapewin First Nation and the Ministry of Natural Resources are pleased to sign the Terms of Reference for the Wawakapewin First Nation Community Based Land Use Plan. Approvals have been provided by:

  • Wawakapewin First Nation Band Council Resolution; and
  • Ontario, by the Minister of Natural Resources administering the Far North Act.

As we begin this planning process, Wawakapewin First Nation and the Ministry of Natural Resources affirm our commitment to work together with mutual respect and in good faith.

On behalf of Wawakapewin First Nation
Signed by
Chief AnneMarie Beardy, Wawakapewin First Nation

On behalf of Ontario
Signed by
Honourable David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources


Wawakapewin First Nation brings an understanding of the relationship of people, lands and resources as their foundation for planning. As expressed in words below, all of these concepts will be brought out and integrated to the land use plan as a set of principles to be prepared, structured and balanced properly in planning by Wawakapewin First Nation. The concepts and principles document will be available from Wawakapewin First Nation.

The customs and practice of the Innineewuk is referred to as “Innineewuk Dodaamowin”. These are derived from “Natural Law”, the “Great Law” as given by the Creator and referred to as “ohtoonachcikawin”, the order of the Creator.

The Innineewuk understood this ohnacchikawin as a conceptual framework that governed their primary relationships and responsibilities amongst themselves and every other aspect of their lives, referred to as, “nisootawaytamowin” or as understood.

The way of life, “natoopematesoowin”, sometimes referred to as “akiwpemateeswin” or earth life is the customs of the people and conforms to the nisootawayamowin which includes the spirit life (achakacopemateesowin) contained in the ohnacchikawin.

This understanding is known within the three main aspects of this way of life:

  1. People with people
  2. People with leaders
  3. People with land (earth)

The “known” is referred to as “natawaytamowin” or “what is wanted” by the Creator and which are the customary practices, “dodamowenun”. They are the order of the Creator as understood.

These are given inherently in our lives (in our way of life) governed through primary relationships and responsibilities. The holistic view and customary practices of the Innineewuk allowed this to function so that every person throughout their life phases understood these relationships and their responsibilities, individually and collectively.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Terms of Reference (the ‘Terms’) is to direct the preparation of the Wawakapewin First Nation Community Based Land Use Plan (WFNCBLUP) for the planning area “Wawakapewin - Aki”. The Terms will also direct the approach to confirm the planning area and ultimately, guide the designation of that area.

In a Statement of Intent prepared in 2012, Wawakapewin First Nation described a commitment to lead this planning initiative with the guidance of the community, and to work together with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to jointly prepare and jointly approve a community based land use plan. The parties have agreed to work in good faith.

The Far North Act 2010, provides Ontario’s legislated mandate to work collaboratively with First Nations in a joint planning process and to prepare a community based land use plan in a consensus based approach of shared decision making.

Acknowledging that Wawakapewin First Nation and Ontario may hold differing perspectives on the Far North Act, the parties will work together in good faith to achieve practical outcomes and results.

Land use planning will be done in a manner that is consistent with the recognition and affirmation of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the duty to consult.

2. Expected outcomes

Expectations for both the process (how the plan will be prepared) and for the plan itself (what the plan will include) are set out in Sections 2.1 and 2.2 respectively.

2.1 Expected outcomes - the process

The preparation of the WFNCBLUP will entail:

  • Meetings with Elders and documentation of the Aboriginal traditional knowledge as required by the community to support planning. Storing and sharing of information will be determined by the community;
  • Assembly of all other available information required to support planning including development of GIS mapping to support the planning process (See additional notes on information in Section 5.0 Information Management);
  • Confirmation of the planning area by Wawakapewin and MNR, including through dialogue with adjacent communities. The planning area will be confirmed by the Draft Plan stage.
  • Provision of opportunities for:
    • The community members and leadership to fully engage in dialogue as the plan is prepared and at key milestones in the process (Terms, Draft Plan, Final Plan);
    • Planning dialogue with MNR and other agencies including the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) throughout the process (e.g., planning team or advisory team meetings, community meetings or workshops);
    • Determining interests and engagement opportunities for adjacent communities;
    • At least two formal invitations to share the plan development and recommendations and seek comments and input from all interested people and organizations. This input will help the Wawakapewin community to develop and confirm the plan direction.
  • Preparation of a Draft Plan and a Final Plan.

2.2 Expected outcomes - the plan

The final land use plan document is expected to include the following outcomes:

  • Description and mapping of the planning area, including, if appropriate, identification of areas of shared interest with adjacent communities and arrangements or protocols to address shared interests.
  • Goals and objectives for land use, addressing culture, social, economic and environmental considerations. The plan may also include description of perspectives, principles and/or values that are relevant to decision making in the plan. Shared objectives will be developed and confirmed in the early stages of planning. Additionally, MNR will bring forward the provincial objectives stated in the Far North Act 2010. These objectives have been taken into account in the preparation of the Terms of Reference and will be taken into account in preparation of the plan. The objectives are:
    • A significant role for First Nations in the planning
    • 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.
    • The maintenance of biological diversity, ecological processes and ecological functions, including the storage and sequestration of carbon in the Far North.
    • Enabling sustainable economic development that benefits the First Nations
  • Description of existing and potential land uses and resource- based opportunities in the planning area (also see Planning Subjects, Section 3.2); including:
    • Identification of land use areas and their designations including one or more protected areas, and identification of the development, land uses and activities that are permitted or not permitted within those areas.
    • Guiding direction on the manner in which activities would take place to achieve the goals and objectives;
    • Description of how the plan has considered features, and land uses for areas adjacent to the planning area, and
    • A plan review timeframe and direction for plan amendment.

3. Scope of planning

The scope of planning is described by 3.1 Planning Area and 3.2 Planning Subjects.

3.1 Planning area

Wawakapewin has identified an area of interest for planning (AIP) “Wawakapewin-Aaki” for the purpose of preparing the WFNCBLUP. As mapped on Figure 1, the AIP is 205,514 hectares, situated south and east of Big Trout Lake, and south of Wapakeka Reserve on Otter Lake. The Ahswahegun Seebe (Ashweig River) flows through the area. Figure 1 also shows the AIP within context of the Far North and identification of adjacent communities.

The AIP is described as having a ‘core’ planning area and areas of co-use with adjacent communities:

  • The “core planning area” is territory which has traditionally been used by Wawakapewin members and is clearly recognized by the community as such. This is based on historical data, oral tradition, current traplines, water catchment areas, and discussion and affirmation by Elders and surrounding communities.
  • The map identifies proposed shared areas outside of the core area. The planning team commonly refers to these as “fuzzy areas” conveying that the proposed areas will be discussed and confirmed with surrounding communities to ensure that there are no gaps in planning areas and the history and agreements on each area are clear. In these shared areas, the land is understood by Wawakapewin to be traditional territory - but for a number of reasons this understanding needs to be clarified with other communities. For example, there may historic joint use, a trapline may have changed hands, community members may have moved to other communities or there are other community planning processes to consider. The dialogue with adjacent communities may lead to protocols for engagement during planning and implementation. The adjacent First Nation communities are: Wapekeka, Kasabonika Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Wunnumin Lake and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug.

The planning area will be confirmed and recommended for designation prior to release of the Draft Plan.

A map of the Wawakapewin First Nation Area of Interest for Planning (AIP)

Figure 1: WFNCBLUP Reference Map

3.2 Planning subjects

For each subject, the plan will describe available information, interests, considerations and opportunities. The plan will address the following existing or potential land uses and subjects:

  • Traditional use (both historical and contemporary indigenous use, including but not limited to hunting, gathering, trapping, fishing);
  • Tourism and eco-tourism;
  • Consideration of climate change and adaptation planning including mitigation measures and opportunities (e.g. understanding changes in animal movements, biomass storage, carbon credits)
  • Protection including:
    • Protection of site-specific culturally sensitive locations,
    • Plants and animals as it relates to food security, including protection of the environment they rely on,
    • Protection of waterways and source water protection,
    • Protection of notable landscape features, ecological sensitivities and species at risk, and
    • Protection of the environment in a holistic sense (air, land, water) including landscape characteristics and integrity.
  • Mineral exploration and mining;
    • Describe the land base in terms of its potential for aggregate, and industrial and metallic mineral deposits, and identify areas of Provincially Significant Mineral Potential (PSMP).
    • Recommend a balance between areas where mineral exploration and development will be allowed, and areas where it will be prohibited.
    • Recommend zoning to support desired mineral exploration and development opportunities.
  • Forestry including non timber forest products
  • Recreation
  • Infrastructure considerations in the planning area generally (excluding the reserve area) and to support anticipated community needs (on reserve).

Additionally, subjects may be considered as they are relevant to land use and decisions for land use including land and resource changes over time and social effects (relationship of land and people), fish and wildlife management, and fire.

4. Planning process

4.1 Phases and timelines

The WFNCBLUP planning process is presented in Figure 2. Timelines are estimates and may require adjustment during the process.

Figure 2: Planning process

  • 2011-12: Preparing for Planning
    • 2012-2013: Phase 1 - Terms of Reference
      • 2014: Phase 2 - Begin planning
        • Winter 2015: Phase 3 - Draft Plan
          • Spring 2015: Phase 4 - Final Plan

Key deliverables for each stage in the WFNCBLUP process are: Preparation for planning: Winter 2011 - Winter 2012

  • Gathering background information
  • Building understanding of the Community Based Land Use planning model
  • Dialogue to determine community interests and direction for planning
  • Organizing for planning

Phase 1: Winter 2012 - Winter 2013 (Terms of Reference)

  • Building consensus on land use planning and planning area within community
  • Map Area of Interest for Planning (AIP)
  • Community and joint drafting of Terms of Reference
  • Meetings with adjacent communities
  • Endorsement in principle by Wawakapewin First Nation
  • Endorsement in principle by MNR.

Phase 2: Winter 2013 - Spring 2014 (Begin Planning)

  • Joint approval of Terms of Reference (Wawakapewin, MNR)
  • First formal notice including Environmental Bill of Rights policy posting
  • Open house(s) to share Terms and Background Information
  • Description of objectives to guide preparation of the Plan
  • Formal Wawakapewin community meeting
  • Mapping and analysis to describe land use opportunities
  • Continue meetings with adjacent communities
  • Confirm Planning Area and recommend for designation.

Phase 3: Fall 2014 - Winter 2015 (prepare Draft Plan)

  • Prepare recommendations for land use areas, including definition of land use activities in each area, the type of land use designation (i.e., dedicated protected area, enhanced management area, general use area) and analysis accompanying the recommendations.
  • Draft Plan map and document production
  • Formal community consultation
  • Adjacent community consultation
  • Second Environmental Bill of Rights policy posting and open house(s).

Phase 4: Winter 2015 - Spring 2015 (prepare Final Plan)

  • Consideration of all input received on the Draft Plan
  • Final mapping of land use areas, including definition of land use activities in each area and the type of land use designation
  • Final Plan document production including description of the manner in which consultation input was considered
  • Joint approval of Final Plan by Wawakapewin First Nation and MNR
  • Notice and sharing of Final Plan including decision notice on the Environmental Bill of Rights policy posting.

4.2 Opportunities for sharing progress and providing input

Wawakapewin Elders have advised that there are three primary forums for consultation

  1. In the community:
    • Wawakapewin First Nation members will have primary role in deep understanding of the plan preparation and guidance. This will occur through:
      • Community meetings etc. e.g. website posting/updates/interactive site, chief & council meetings, Translation will be provided (as suited to community needs).
    • The community coordinator provides Liaison between the planning team, Chief and Council and community. An illustration of the flow of information is presented in Figure 3.
  2. Dialogue with Adjacent First Nations Communities to build an understanding of shared interests and direction for the future.
    • A number of community visits and meetings will support dialogue with;
      • Wapekeka, Kasabonika Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Wunnumin Lake and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nations.
      • Translation will be provided as required.
  3. Dialogue with others having interest in the land use plan and land use direction:
    • Government agencies, public and other stakeholders
      • A mailing list will be prepared to include individuals and organizations that may be interested in this land use planning process based on similar interests at local, regional or provincial planning initiatives. This list may be added to throughout the process.
      • Open house will be held in Sioux Lookout at two planning milestones, Terms of Reference and Draft Plan stages.
      • The Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights Environmental Registry will have a policy proposal notice for this project, to be initiated at the Terms of Reference stage, updated at the Draft Plan stage and a decision posted for the Final Plan.

Planning team and advisory teams meetings provide opportunities to share and understand each other and work collaboratively to build consensus on the land use plan

Figure 3: Flow of information

  • Planning and Advisory Teams
    • Community Coordinator
      • Chief and Council
        • Community Coordinator
          • Community Members

4.3 Planning structure

Figure 4: Planning structure

  • Wawakapewin Chief & Council
    Far North Senior Manager
    • Joint Planning Team
      • Wawakapewin
        • Community Coordinator
        • Plan Support Person
        • Land Use Planner (consultant)
        • Others as assigned by community
      • MNR
        • Sioux Lookout Far North Planner
        • Far North Senior Planner
    • Community Advisory Team
      • 3 members
    • Provincial Advisory Team
      • MNDM
      • MNR Far North

The Joint Planning Team has prepared the Terms of Reference and will facilitate the process, ensure all available information and analyses are available for decision-making, and facilitate seeking advice and building consensus on recommendations. Responsibilies are described below.

Chief and Council

  • Provide approval to engage in planning
  • Provide ongoing input and direction into the planning process
  • Approve major milestones (Terms or Reference, Draft and Final Plan)

Joint Planning Team

  • Wawakapewin - Key responsibilities are:
    • Ensure consensual community process and information sharing with leadership and community members
    • Lead role in timing and scope
    • Gathering information and document input from First Nation membership including elders (community and other information)
    • Make all input available and interactive through community GIS platform
    • Consider a full range of values including social, cultural, economic, ecological and spiritual
    • Incorporate indigenous knowledge in the information base and planning decisions and guide long term management of indigenous knowledge
    • Guide land use plan to be a long term living project
    • Build community capacity for ongoing land use planning and implementation (identify training, skills, needs and opportunities)
    • Working with the land use planner and the planning team to analyse input and formulate options
    • Identity clear objectives, land use areas and strategic direction reflecting community consensus
    • Prepare recommendations for community leadership at key progress points
  • MNR - Key responsibilities are
    • Facilitate planning team meetings
    • Provide available information on lands and resources
    • Provide advice on the assembly and analysis of information
    • Facilitate MNDM engagement with the planning team, including the identification of significant areas of mineral potential (e.g., Provincial Significant Mineral Potential (PSMP)).
    • Facilitate provision of advice to the planning team regarding the application of ecological criteria to identify, select, design, and assess preliminary protected areas (Ontario Parks ecologists)
    • Facilitate public consultation opportunities, including Open Houses and EBR notification
    • Address Provincial requirements with respect to policy/legislation (including the Far North Act)
    • Document of process and public input (jointly with Wawakapewin)

Advisory Teams

Advisors are to participate with the planning team at appropriate points to support information needs, enhance understanding of Community, Provincial and sector interests.

Community advisors will be identified to represent youth, elders and those identified as providing specific community expertise.

Provincial advisors will be invited as required to address planning matters including lands and resources, mineral sector, climate change, environmental issues, renewable energy, etc.

MNDM’s Mines and Minerals Division will provide information related to geology, mineral potential, and mineral exploration and mining; advise on the application of this data to identify areas that may offer economic opportunities in the planning area; and assess candidate protected areas.

MNR Far North Unit and Far North Branch managers will also be advisory to the planning team.

4.4 Approval mechanism

Internal approvals supporting the preparation of the land use plan are:

  • Wawakapewin custom process including Elders advisory council; and
  • MNR internal consensus and consensus-building with other agencies (e.g., MNDM)

The Far North Act 2010 identifies the requirements and authority for approvals, including for:

  • Terms of Reference;
  • Planning Area; and
  • Final Land Use Plan.

Joint approvals for each of the above are required by:

  • Wawakapewin First Nation Chief and Council; and
  • Minister of Natural Resources

Approval of the final plan will be by Minister’s Order under the Far North Act 2010 and by First Nation Band Council Resolution.

Prior to approval of the plan, and with joint endorsement, the planning area will be designated under the Far North Act 2010 via Minister’s Order.

The final land use plan will provide direction on areas and permitted activities along with guiding direction for those activities. Once a community based land use plan is approved, decisions must be consistent with the land use designations and permitted uses specified in the plan as specified by the Far North Act 2010. In addition, OMNR and other provincial agencies continue to have obligations set out in provincial policy and legislation.

Wawakapewin First Nation and MNR will implement these Terms of Reference for a land use plan in good faith. During the planning process new information and/or emerging direction may require an amendment to the Terms of Reference. In this event the planning team would prepare a recommended amendment and the amendment would require the same approvals as this document, as specified under the Far North Act 2010.

A timeframe and mechanism for review and amending the land use plan will be described.

4.5 Dispute resolution approach

Wawakapewin First Nation leads the timing and engagement in the process. The land use planning process is a consensus-based dialogue, 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 plan are developed.

Recognizing that there may be disputes and/or issues not resolved through discussions with the planning team, a first step to resolve the issue will be to follow a traditional approach with elders and others (to be determined) to hear and understand the issue, then recommend appropriate actions. The recommended actions will be communicated to the Wawakapewin Chief and the Sioux Lookout District Manager to determine an approach to move forward.

5. Information management

The planning process will require consideration of all available information to help support and inform joint planning discussions while respecting and protecting Indigenous Knowledge.

All community information used to support the planning process will remain with the community unless the community deems it shareable with the Province of Ontario.

Ontario will provide and support the planning team with their best available information and data, to be used for the purposed of Community Based Land Use Planning. MNDM’s Mines and Minerals Division will provide information related to geology, mineral potential, and mineral exploration and mining and advise on the application of this data.

In addition, the joint planning team will identify appropriate information management strategies for the information used to support the development of the CBLUP.

In a land use planning process MNR has provincial responsibilities to address matters of records and record keeping and public consultation. MNR will ensure that the planning process and products are in compliance with requirements for information under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Archives and Recordkeeping Act and the Environmental Bill of Rights. The joint planning team will share in preparation of material for public consultation and review of public input.

Wawakapewin First Nation has responsibilities for consultation with the community and will address those responsibilities in a manner designed by the community.

The joint planning team will oversee communications and delegate as required, including developing and ensuring public notices are submitted as required, compile the appropriate mailing list, initiate mail out of planning phase information, provide notice of meetings, and any other information deemed appropriate.

All formal input and comments received during the planning process will be documented and available as an official planning record. Copies of all formal input and comments received during the process will be provided to the joint planning team.

6. Interim measures

The Far North Act 2010 provides for orderly development in the Far North. Under the Far North Act, community based land use plans must be completed before most major development begins, including commercial timber harvest or opening a new mine. The Act does allow certain types of development to proceed in advance of a plan, provided certain criteria are met. A development may also be allowed to proceed if it is determined to be predominantly for community use or if it contributes directly to meeting community needs of the First Nations and takes into account the objectives of the Act.

While the Community Based Land Use Plan initiative is underway, MNR and Wawakapewin First Nation would expect that consideration of each development proposal would be accompanied by input from the planning team on the stage of planning, information available, and preliminary land use direction, if any.

7. Contacts

Requests for additional information or questions on this Terms of Reference can be directed to:

CBLUP Planning Coordinator
Wawakapewin First Nation
P.O. Box 477
Sioux Lookout, ON
P8T 1A8
Tel: 807-737-2662

Far North Planner
Ministry of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 309
49 Prince Street
Sioux Lookout, ON
P8T 1A6
Tel: 807-737-5039