BIG TROUT LAKE – The Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation have voted overwhelmingly in favour of two referendums held on July 6th 2011. Over 96% of the ballots in the communities referendum were in favour of the KI Watershed and the KI Consultation Protocol.
Those two documents will now be brought into force by the KI Chief and Council through a band ceremony along with a spiritual ceremony and blessings of the results.
“The KI Watershed Declaration and the KI Consultation Protocol will give us a new mandate to foster dialogue with governments and corporations and as well open up new opportunities in the areas of economic development, environmental sustainability and off-reserve issues,” stated Chief Donny Morris.
The KI Watershed Declaration applies to a 13,025 square kilometre area of lakes, rivers, forest and wetlands in the KI homeland. It includes the 661 square kilometres of Big Trout Lake.
The Declaration states: “We declare all waters that flow into and out of Big Trout Lake, and all lands whose waters flow into those lakes rivers, and wetlands to be completely protected our continued care under KI’s authority, laws and protocols…No industrial uses, or other uses which disrupt, poison, or otherwise harm our relationship to these lands and waters will be permitted”.