Welcome to our newly revised Lands & Resources page. It has been a while since we have been visible in the communities due to the pandemic that had most of us working out of our homes. We do our best to continue to work for the Nation through this difficult time when we would much rather be in the communities engaging with the people. Although we restricted to travel and engaging in person, we managed to do our work virtually. Many of our staff have learnt to communicate well through different platforms using the internet. We hope that this will not always be and that we will be able to get out there into the communities to engage on the various projects that we are pursuing.
As many of you know, the Omushkego territory is a vast territory with important environmental assets that need our attention. We have learnt that the wetlands of our region are the largest wetland complex in North America and the third largest in the world. It is a very sensitive eco-system that supports many types of habitats for animals, many types of birds and fish not to mention the filtering of waters from the watersheds that feed the wetlands and into the marine region. Within the wetlands is the second largest carbon sink in the world sequestering approximately 35 gigatons of carbon within its peatlands. Research has noted that if a value was put on the function of the wetlands, it is worth 700 billion per year in services. Scientists have told us that the wetlands are an environmental asset that needs to be protected for the services it provides.
Through our climate change project in the last three years, we have learnt that there are impacts from climate change which have been ongoing for some years both from the science world and from our land users and elders. Much has been documented but more work needs to be done to understanding its full impacts and what it means. We have experienced changes such as rains during the winter month that seldom took place in the past, warming climate, lack of ice formations and more polar bears being seen within the southern regions of James Bay, species that have never been seen within the northern region, (invasive species), and animals migrating further north.
We continue to work to protect the environment, Lands and Waters of the Omushkego Region as it states in our visions statement of the Mushkegowuk Council, and it is further supported by many resolutions passed over the years at our Annual General Assemblies held each year. The most recent being November 2021, Resolution passed by the assembly on the protection of the waters of our territory a concern brought forth by the elders in realizing the potential impacts from development west of the territory called the Ring of Fire.