Below is more information on the Pemmican Island issue and an online petition:
Photo credit: Gustavo Veríssimo
Target: Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister
Goal: Reinstate reserve status for Pemmican Island.
The provincial government of Manitoba, Canada has announced plans to allow mineral exploration on an island previously protected as a nature preserve. The provincial government recently allowed the island’s protected status to expire. They have since reinstated protections for nearby Grand, Goose, and Cormorant Islands but have not for Pemmican Island, opening the island to mining.
Local First Nations communities and environmental groups have raised concerns that mining on the island will compromise local fisheries and contaminate pristine water resources. The provincial government has stated that it wishes to conserve the islands but only after mining occurs– a process they project will take three to five years. However, any contamination from the nickel and zinc in and around the island would most likely have long-term damaging effects both on the island and for Lake Winnipegosis. Sign our petition and demand that the provincial government reinstate preserve status for Pemmican Island.
Dear Premier Pallister,
I was alarmed to read statements by your government both in support of mining on Pemmican Island and conserving ecosystems in and around the island. These two goals are incompatible. Any mining on the island will most likely lead to long-term contamination, and industrial activity in the area will result in disturbance of local wildlife. Furthermore, runoff from mining activities may compromise fisheries and water resources in the surrounding area.
Sapotaweyak Chief Nelson Genaille has already stated he is opposed to mining developments on the island. As you know his community’s consent is required for any such project to move forwards and these plans will likely face legal challenges. I urge you to reinstate Pemmican Island’s provincial preserve status and commit to making Lake Winnipegosis’ islands into provincial parks.