Over 65 participants from across Canada gathered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in March 2005, to participate in a two-day workshop about the Aboriginal perspective on how to measure good forest management. At the workshop, representatives from Aboriginal communities, industry, woodlot operators, and federal and provincial governments expressed their concerns about what constitutes good forest management and how Aboriginal populations are involved in both the process and the practice of sustainable forest management.
Manitoba Model Forest researcher, Brian Kotak, presented Engaging First Nations communities and youth in environmental monitoring, which illustrated how his watershed research in the Manitoba Model Forest region engages Aboriginal students and others in the database monitoring process. A key feature of the Model Forest’s Stream Monitoring Network and Database project involves training Aboriginal youth in water quality and flow data collection.
The Winnipeg workshop also tackled the issue of Aboriginal perspectives on forest certification. Presentations by Aboriginals with experience in the Clayquot Sound and the Kootenay region of British Columbia helped to focus discussion on the future impact that market-driven certification is having on economic opportunities for Aboriginal communities.