Over 40 delegates from the Matawa member First Nations attended the third annual Matawa Environment Gathering 2022 on December 5-7, hosted by Four Rivers, Matawa’s Environmental Services Group, at the NorWester Hotel in Thunder Bay. Community lands & resource staff, environmental monitors & stewards, Elders, youth, and other interested members gathered for workshops to reflect on 10+ years of regional environmental programming and data collection, to share knowledge, build capacity, and participate in discussions on what’s to come.
Four Rivers presented on multiple environmental monitoring programs which had been launched over the years and were excited to share their vision of turning ‘data’ into ‘information’, a vital step to informing community decision-making processes in future years. New platforms and data collection technologies were showcased, along with plans to arm community members with the power to gather data on the lands and waters, while pulling it all together in an understandable and accessible way. This information can contribute to future assessments throughout the homelands, as communities decide on their paths forward. Capacity building on Impact Assessment and Regional Assessment processes was also a focus of the event, with guest speakers joining from as far as Adams Lake, BC to share their experiences!
The Gathering was a huge success, and even included a turkey dinner/film screening, and an evening Christmas shopping shuttle. Thank you to all who participated, it was so great to see everyone again and we hope that you enjoyed our time together!