UNESCO World Heritage Site Project
Pikangikum has taken a leadership role in developing a partnership to seek UNESCO World Heritage Site designation within a planning area that includes the Whitefeather Forest. World Heritage Sites are recognized by UNESCO as places of outstanding universal importance for their natural and/or cultural values. Our Elders chose this strategy after a careful consideration of different options by which we could support culturally appropriate tourism opportunities. Our Elders then guided us as we went downstream to our First Nation neighbours to ask if they were interested in such a project. The Elders guided us as we engaged in dialogue about this with our neighbouring First Nations.
In April 2002 our First Nation signed an Accord with three other First Nations – Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Pauingassi First Nation and Poplar River First Nation – to guide our partnership to pursue World Heritage Site designation. Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation sponsored the development and drafting of the Accord. This partnership has since grown to include the Governments of Ontario and Manitoba. Our participation in the larger partnership continues to be guided by our Elders.
In April of 2004 the Government of Canada placed our partnership Planning Area on its Updated Tentative List of World Heritage Sites as one of a group of sites of “unimaginable beauty and exceptional wonder”.
We have since named our project, Pimachiowin Aki, incorporated our partnership and developed a web site for our World Heritage Site project. Alex Peters, the President of Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation, is serving as Co-Chair of the Pimachiowin Aki Assembly of Partners.
The efforts of Pikangikum to create strong tourism opportunities in the Whitefeather Forest will only be strengthened by a successful UNESCO World Heritage designation for lands within the Whitefeather Forest. Pikangikum Elders see UNESCO World Heritage Site designation as providing a unique opportunity to celebrate the Whitefeather Forest as a cultural landscape in the boreal forest. World Heritage Site designation also will support excellent opportunities for Pikangikum youth to interpret the Whitefeather Forest as a cultural landscape to visitors from various parts of the world.
- Enterprise Vision
- Customary Land Uses
- Commercial Forestry
- Non-Timber Forest Products
- Whitefeather Forest Community Resource Management Authority
- UNESCO World Heritage Site Project
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