BEAHR is Curve Lake First Nation!
By Krista Coppaway
CURVE LAKE FIRST NATION - Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation now have community members who are trained in environmental monitoring to assist in the review of proposed projects within our territories, thanks to a partnership between Fleming College, TransCanada and Curve Lake First Nation.
There were 6 community members who graduated from the ECO Canada BEAHR Training program which focused on developing the specialized skills for Aboriginals to become more involved in the environmental management decisions and actions in Canada. The BEAHR program is a series of community based, culturally relevant, short-term environmental training programs for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.
Over the 7 week course the monitors visited various locations such as the TransCanada Cobourg Compression Station to learn about the regulatory monitoring of a natural gas facility as well as Caleb Musgrave’s camp in Hiawatha, to learn local traditional knowledge and survival skills that will assist the monitors when conducting environmental research out on the land.
In the last week of the course the monitors conducted a site assessment at a location in the Curve Lake territory. The monitors then presented their findings at their graduation ceremony to an audience of family members, course instructors and representatives from Fleming College, Chief Phyllis Williams and Curve Lake staff as well as representatives from TransCanada. At the graduation, Brian West congratulated the monitors and went to say “TransCanada is very happy to be part of this partnership and training initiative” with Curve Lake First Nation and Fleming College.
The presentations will be provided to Curve Lake First Nation to be reviewed and utilized in future planning in the community.
The course not only helped our community by training our members to become involved in environmental monitoring but also contributed to the local economy in Curve Lake First Nation, through the procurement of services by local caterers as well as venue rental to host the in class session of the training program.
“Partnerships like this one here today are a win-win for everyone involved and I would like to thank all who helped make this partnership and training program happen in Curve Lake” said Melissa Dokis, Lands Consultation Liaison for Curve Lake First Nation, who was the lead in coordinating the training initiative.