Community Engagement & Development
Engaging People in the Stewardship of the Forest
Since its inception, the Manitoba Model Forest (MBMF) had a Vision brings together the peoples of the area, each with different backgrounds and values of the forest, to work together in sustaining the forest and the communities it contains. The partnerships that were originally forged and have continued into the Forest Communities Program demonstrates the commitment of the areas peoples in striving to achieve their vision.
The MBMF has initiated many projects to build capacity within local communities and to provide tools that would allow community members to participate in forest management decisions. The Forest Communities Program strives to build on the previous work by exploring alternative economic opportunities that may be available to the people of the area. This comes at a time when the traditional resource-based economies of many rural communities have disappeared or declined significantly.
Community Engagement & Development Projects
Community Engagement & Development is organized under the MBMF Forest Community Engagement and Capacity Building Working Group and all projects in this theme area are described within Annual Work Plans.
Some of the projects currently undertaken within Forest Community Engagement and Capacity Building are featured in the links at the top of the page and publications produced for these and other projects can be viewed and downloaded from the publications page.
In addition to the projects featured in the links on this Forest Community Engagement and Capacity Building home page, the following are a sample of other projects undertaken in this theme area:
Community Opportunity Fund
The Community Opportunities Fund was established as a competitive grant program to allow local communities and organizations to design and conduct projects to enhance community living. All proposals seeking support under this grant are required to meet eligibility criteria and proposal guidelines that meet Model Forest goals and objectives. Projects have been established in most of the MBMF communities that promote community beautification, recreation, culture and heritage, education, environmental awareness and economic development. Over the years, the MBMF has provided more than $400,000 to such community-based projects.
First Nations Land Use Study
The First Nations Land Use Study assisted the Aboriginal communities of the region to create an information base regarding their traditional lands and values. These studies recorded of historic values, traditional land uses, and the Ojibway language in a digital format. Managed by the First Nations of Hollow Water, Black River and Brokenhead, community researchers conducted interview with Elders and collected and mapped information on land use and values. This has allowed the communities to have the capacity to use contemporary tools, such as GIS, to participate in resource management.
Archaeological Predictive Model
The Archaeological Predictive Modeling project developed a computer model that predicts the location of archaeological sites based on previous site characteristics and surface features. Archaeologists sought input from local First Nation communities in developing the model parameters and involved a team of First Nation students in a field verification of the model by conducting archaeological digs in predicted sites. The ability to predict the location of archaeological sites allows for the adjustment of resource management activities to protect the potential archaeological knowledge these sites may contain until they are investigated.