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Opinion: A new, reset relationship starts with meaningful consultation – Winnipeg Free Press

Jan. 29, 2024

The election of Premier Wab Kinew is an incredible achievement for our province. It’s also a significant opportunity for a reset in how the provincial government manages its relationship with Indigenous Peoples in Manitoba.

For years, former Manitoba governments adopted an approach of informing Indigenous communities of decisions after they were made, instead of including us in the process.

One very specific example of the previous government’s lack of consultation deeply affecting Interlake Reserve Tribal Council communities is the proposed Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project.

But where the previous government failed, lives an opportunity for the new NDP government to genuinely walk the path of reconciliation by moving forward in an inclusive manner. One that acknowledges the history of our Peoples, our status as important rights holders, while pragmatically moving forward on projects profoundly impacting our communities.

Water stewardship, flood control, conservation and ecosystems are vital to our communities. Water is intimately tied to the exercise of our Aboriginal and Treaty rights, including the survival of our culture and way of life.

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