We don’t want to just keep the land, we want to be able to use what is on the land, to our benefit. That is why we are in this planning process, to plan what we intend to do on the land.
Elder Whitehead Moose (in translation)
At its heart, the Whitefeather Forest Initiative is seeking to create new livelihood opportunities for the youth of Pikangikum based on the abundant resources in the Whitefeather Forest. We are doing this within our customary stewardship framework guided by the vision and practices of Pikangikum people.
Keeping the Land identified the following principles that will govern how livelihood opportunities will be developed in the Whitefeather Forest.
- Resource based livelihood opportunities will be pursued in a manner that respects the teachings and wisdom of our ancestors that ensure the continued abundance of life on our ancestral lands.
- Pikangikum’s pursuit of new livelihood opportunities will be harmonized with customary and existing uses through the implementation of strategic direction and subsequent resource management planning.
- New land uses described in this Land Use Strategy will provide primary benefits to Beekahncheekahmeeng paymahteeseewahch, thereby contributing to the maintenance of a strong culture and renewing a healthy economy.
[Keeping the Land, page 18]
The Keeping the Land strategy provides direction to support the following specific objectives related to creation of livelihood opportunities.
- To support existing and identify new livelihood opportunities (ohtahcgeeeeteesooweenahn) in commercial forestry, non-timber forest products, commercial fisheries, recreation and tourism, protected areas management, and the mineral sector.
- To identify land use areas for economic development opportunities that provide primary benefits for Pikangikum First Nation members.
- To secure the best-end and highest value use of resources.
[Keeping the Land, page 19]
- Enterprise Vision
- Customary Land Uses
- Commercial Forestry
- Non-Timber Forest Products
- Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation
- UNESCO World Heritage Site Project
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