The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo)
Readers of the Jan. 8 article, Reserve Hopeful Despite Housing Crisis, will be interested to know that Pikangikum First Nation does have a long-term economic renewal plan providing us with hope for the future. Our Whitefeather Forest initiative has been built on the best capacity we have -- our elders.
They have been constant in their desire and vision to provide new livelihood opportunities for our youth. They are guiding our work in ways that will ensure that we are able to sustain the land and all living ones, in keeping with our Ojibway traditions. Our land- use strategy, Keeping the Land: Cheekahnahwaydahmungk Keetahkeemeenaan, was approved by Pikangikum and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in June 2006. It is available for viewing online at http://www.whitefeatherforest.com/.
Our land-use strategy is the result of a strong collaboration between Pikangikum First Nation and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
We have also enjoyed support from other agencies, including Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, FedNor and the provincial Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.
Our next steps include acquiring environmental assessment coverage for forestry, and growing out enterprises that will provide jobs and revenues to Pikangikum.
The social and infrastructure problems we are now enduring only make us more determined than ever to keep moving forward.
Alex Peters, President