Seal River Watershed

The Initiative


Our vision is to ensure our grandchildren’s grandchildren have the opportunity to engage in traditional practices such as hunting, fishing and serving as guardians of the land and animals within a healthy watershed.

Our goal is to permanently conserve the Seal River Watershed as an Indigenous Protected Area.

The Seal River Watershed is located in an Adhesion to Treaty No. 5. Only one community is located within the watershed—the Sayisi Dene—but three other Nations and the Inuit have interests in the area.

Sayisi Dene First Nation is leading an initiative to protect the entirety of the Seal River watershed from industrial activity in partnership with our Cree, Dene and Inuit neighbours.

Our Nations are joining together in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.


Expected Outcomes:

  • Establish a protected area through Indigenous leadership.
  • Protect the wintering grounds of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou herds.
  • Advance reconciliation by developing Indigenous capacity for management and stewardship of traditional lands.
  • Uphold and respect Indigenous rights and traditional activities.
  • Preserve and enhance regional Indigenous cultures.
  • Spur sustainable economic development, with a focus on cultural and eco-tourism.


Our Nations are joining together in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.



Cooperative Relationship

Seal River Watershed &
Ancestral Lands Protected Area

Agreement In Principle (AIP) BETWEEN:

SAYISI DENE FIRST NATION AND:
NORTHLANDS DENE NATION AND:
BARREN LANDS FIRST NATION AND:
O-PIPON-NA-PIWIN CREE NATION


In this AIP, our Nations are joining together in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. We are joining together so that we may support each other and work together in our shared vision of protecting part of our respective Nations ancestral lands and resources from all industrial development. These lands have been and always will be within our respective ancestral territories.

Our  Nations share a common goal of governing and protecting the Seal River watershed and other yet-to-be-determined ancestral lands and our resources. We will work in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration with other Nations, other governments and the larger society.

We recognize our respective responsibilities to protect and care for the Seal River watershed and the yet-to-be determined ancestral territories. This is an opportunity to address protected area concerns of our Nations and the larger societies in Manitoba, Canada and internationally.  It also represents a unique and internationally significant opportunity to demonstrate the value our collective Indigenous knowledge in protecting and taking care of the land in the spirit of cooperation and harmony with other Nations, other governments and the larger society.

Given our shared desire to protect the Seal River watershed and its resources we agree to work together as follows:


Terms of Agreement in Principle

  1. We commit to working cooperatively and collectively with each other and with other  Nations, other governments and the larger society to pursue the shared objective of protecting the Seal River watershed and other ancestral lands (to be determined) from all industrial development.
  2. We commit to governing and protecting our resources and growing sustainable economies that will benefit our communities.
  3. This AIP will respect and honour Treaty and Aboriginal Rights and responsibilities.
  4. This AIP shall respect our teachings, values, customs and protocols.
  5. We agree that other Indigenous Nations in our area will be most welcome to join in our cooperative effort.
  6. The area is identified on a map attached as Schedule A.

We solemnly seek continued gifts of good guidance and strength from the Creator and our Ancestors in our efforts to work together.


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