Indigenous peoples are water protectors whose traditional knowledge is vital to sustainable water use and management. The Government of Canada hopes to facilitate Indigenous participation in community level efforts to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality through funding for Indigenous-led projects. Indigenous communities, organizations, associations and governments located in the Great Lakes were asked to submit proposals for projects that promote water protection through action, science, networks and/or awareness. The deadline for application was March 30, 2018 and four recipients have now been announced. Most projects have received the maximum available funding of $100,000 to be distributed over two to four years.
Henvey Inlet First Nation received $100,000 over 2 years for their Anishinabek Coastal Wetland Monitoring project, which will see community participants collect data about fish and plant populations along with water chemistry and nutrient concentrations in 40 wetlands. The Chippewas of Newash Unceded First Nation will be able to implement their Neyaashiinigmiing Water Protection Plan for the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay waters around the First Nation’s traditional territory using $100,000 over 4 years. Pays Plat First Nation Great Lakes Protection will be developing a database for Lake Superior’s nearshore waters, shorelines and wetlands in the First Nation’s traditional territory to help identify and prepare for local environmental change over time using $99, 803 over 2 years. Finally, Island Breeze Tree Service will be putting $100,000 over 3 years towards the Walpole Island First Nation Great Lakes Protection Initiative to control and reduce the invasive species Phragmites. They will use data collected by the community to create awareness about the need to protect native wildlife and plants in Walpole First Nations wetlands.