A group of First Nations is working hard to get Pimachiowin Aki, a huge tract of land straddling Manitoba and Ontario whose stewardship belongs to half a dozen First Nations, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About 13,000 square miles is under consideration, to be voted upon next year. The region, whose Ojibwe name means “The Land That Gives Life,” is managed by the Bloodvein, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, Pikangikum and Poplar River First Nations. These are the Anishinaabe, or Anishinaabeg, some of the Indigenous Peoples of the boreal forest in north-central Turtle Island. Their Ojibwe counterparts below the 49th Parallel reside in Minnesota and around the Great Lakes, among other places. The region also includes Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba as well as Ontario’s Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and Eagle- Snowshoe Conservation Reserve, the website says.
“For First Nations in this area, the land and the people are one,” the indigenous guardians say in the website description of Pimachiowin Aki. “It is a heritage they want to share with Manitobans, Ontarians and the world.”
In the video below, the keepers of Pimachiowin Aki take us on a tour.