Manitoba Metis Federation
Bipole III – Land Use and Occupancy Study
In 2010, Manitoba Hydro proposed a route for the BiPole III Transmission Line. The 1300 km line would run from Northern Manitoba to Winnipeg, traversing the Manitoba Metis community’s “Breadbasket” region. There were potential environmental, cultural and socioeconomic effects which could arise throughout the project that would affect Metis rights and interests in an area the MMF considers to be the heartland of its people.
SVS was hired by the MMF to undertake a Land Use and Occupancy Study to build on existing data by conducting more focused research specific to Metis people who use the land within the Bipole III project region. The intent of the study was to explain, document and quantify impacts on Metis use, culture and way of life resulting specifically from the project. We documented a snapshot of the historic and ongoing use of Metis citizens in the region, a testament to the significance of the land to the community and the importance of proceeding carefully to protect it.
Our consultants represented the MMF at meetings with Manitoba Hydro and made plain language presentations of project plans and research results to Metis citizens and leaders at community meetings. We worked with MMF representatives and their legal advisors to develop a negotiation strategy to secure mutually beneficial agreements with proponents.
Our team also led reviews of the Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Protection Plans in Manitoba Hydro’s proposal and developed Metis specific effects assessment and protection frameworks based on their traditional knowledge and use of the region.
We assisted MMF technical experts and community members to understand the important features of the project and worked alongside them to make informed decisions related to the project. The collection and publishing of Metis knowledge reinforced their capability of negotiating the focus and scope of the project’s Environmental Protection Plan and asserting their role to oversee development in the region. The data that the study collected contributed to a usable knowledge archive that documents the significance of the region to the Metis community and informs developers of areas that require special sensitivity.
2014 – 2016
The study reinforced the MMF’s capability of negotiating the focus and scope of the project’s Environmental Protection Plan and asserting their role to oversee development in the region.
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