CO-MANAGEMENT - THE MANITOBA EXPERIENCE
Manitoba Conservation (formerly Manitoba Department of Natural Resources) has been involved in co-management programs involving First Nation communities as well as other organizations for some time. Those with the former attract the most attention. Some agreements in Manitoba are ad hoc arrangements that have been developed with various First Nation communities in an attempt to solve local problems. There is always an underlying element of skepticism that such arrangement may affect treaty rights. Manitoba's current Conservation Minister has stated that he hope to reach a province-wide accord to balance native hunting and fishing rights with conservation efforts and to include them in resource management activities. He has also indicated that treaty rights are not negotiable but that natives are willing to carry out conservation measures through co-management, and that as long as they are part of the decision making process, they be satisfied. This statement takes on added significance in that the Minister is a First Nation person.
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