Zhaagimaa Waabo

Guided by Manito Aki Inakonigaawin, and recognizing the significance of Treaty #3’s connection to the land, the Territorial Planning Unit (TPU) works with Treaty #3 Leadership to protect the lands, waters, and resources within the 55,000 square miles that make up the Treaty #3 Territory.

Initiatives & Priorities

Manito Aki Inakonigaawin (MAI): Mai is the sacred resource law of the nation. This is a customary law that has governed our people since time immemorial and is based on our responsibility to ensure that the land, the people, and the future is protected. The TPU is currently working on an MAI toolkit and operationalization.

Nibi Declaration of the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty #3: The Nibi Declaration ensures that the Treaty #3 Anishinaabe Nibi Inakonigaawin (water law principles) are recorded and formally recognized in governance processes. The declaration will guide the GCT3 leadership in the creation of future policy and decision making processes that relate to water. Another component of the declaration is to inspire people to take action to protect water through the development of a toolkit that contains curriculum based learning tools and information on how to get involved in the further development of this important work.

Draft Watershed Management Planning Model:

Emergency Management Planning: Grand Council Treaty is engaged in the coordination and support of Emergency Management Planning. Emergency Management Coordinators can work with communities to support and create emergency plans for floods, fires, pandemics and other emergencies. Planning includes updating plans, completing risk assessments, training and infrastructure support. GCT3 will continue to support the Nation in order to protect our membership and work together in the case of emergency.

Climate Change: Climate change is continuously influencing our Territory and access to the lands and waters of Treaty #3. The TPU is committed to working together in order to work towards climate change risk assessments, youth educational opportunities, climate change curriculums, and nation mitigation initiatives in moving towards a Treaty #3 climate change strategy.

Governance and Natural Resource Management: As resource development in Treaty #3 continues, the TPU is working towards the continued affirmation of Treaty #3 processes in Natural Resource Management and decision-making. This work is guided by MAI and communities to continue the exercise of jurisdiction and self-governance throughout the Territory, through initiatives of resource revenue sharing and the development of a Treaty #3 project decision-making process or environmental assessment.

TPU Newsletter: Current Projects and Updates

TPU Youth Mentorship Program

Description: The Territorial Planning Unit’s Youth Mentorship Program provides Indigenous and Non-Indigenous youth with access to TPU mentors who will support them with environmental career development through education and learning, capacity building, and career advice. Areas of mentorship within the program are: traditional governance, environmental monitoring, climate change, emergency management planning, GIS and sustainable energy planning. Meet the TPU mentors below to learn more about them and how they can help you.

Mentorship Programs: Programs can be set up on 4 week, 8 week and 12 week basis and meeting frequency will be decided between Mentee and Mentor. Please reach out to tpu@treaty3.ca for more information and indicate your interest.


TPU Mentors

Chris Herc – Chris has been the TPU’s Environmental Monitoring Coordinator for the past four years and works with Treaty #3 communities to implement community based monitoring initiatives for water quality, fish habitat, mercury monitoring, and invasive species. Chris also hosts capacity building engagement sessions with Treaty communities, reviews environmental policy, and applies for funding grants to continue current programs and create new ones.

Prior to this Chris graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a B.Sc. in Environment and Natural Resources and has worked across Canada in various environmental positions such as: bird bander, fisheries observer, caribou research technician, provincial park interpreter, nature educator, etc.

Potential mentees under Chris can expect to: learn how to collect and monitor water quality data, design environmental monitoring programs, help with resume building, identifying experience building opportunities, and anything the mentee would like help with!

Hailey Krolyk – Hailey was born and raised in Kenora, ON, in Treaty #3. She studied Political Economy at the University of Manitoba and Community Development at Trent University. Hailey now works at Grand Council Treaty #3 as a Policy Analyst, focusing on Anishinaabe Inakonigaawin (law). She works with Elders throughout Treaty #3 territory to listen and learn about Manito Aki Inakonigaawin (The Great Earth Law) and Nibi Declaration, which focus on understanding where Elders want the laws going in the future, while acknowledging history and barriers.

Hailey has been developing a Manito Aki Inakonigaawin toolkit, which shares the key principles that guide us in decision-making in the Treaty #3 Territory, helps to further our understandings of our responsibilities to the land and provides guidance for government, communities, leadership and proponents upon entering the Treaty #3 territory.

Hailey works on a variety on a variety of environmental policies and incorporating Manito Aki Inakonigaawin and the Nibi declaration into them.

Potential mentees under Hailey can expect to: talk with Elders and Knowledge Keepers to learn about Manito Aki Inakonigaawin and the Nibi Declaration, learn how to apply both Manito Aki Inakonigaawin and the Nibi declaration, relationship building, identify experience building opportunities, and anything else the mentee would like help with!

Treaty #3 Lands and Resources Organizations



Treaty #3 Geoportal

Share Digital Maps | Combine Spatial Layers | Mark-up Maps

The Treaty #3 Geoportal is an online tool that allows community users to upload, share and access digital data and maps of the combined Treaty#3 territory.

Treaty #3 Geoportal

Land Manager's Toolkit

The purpose of the Toolkit is to assist with informed decision making on proposed projects undergoing impact assessments or environmental assessments, but we hope it will be used by anyone looking to increase their understanding of lands management as a whole. We also offer this workbook as an example of how Anishinaabe principles, teachings, and practices can inform decision making and community planning.

Land Manager's Toolkit

Nuclear 101 Guidebook

The Nuclear 101 Guidebook was created to help with decision making on future nuclear energy projects. It was built using scientific knowledge, traditional teachings, and the principles contained within the Treaty #3 Nibi Declaration. Additionally, the Guidebook was built with guidance from Anishinaabe Law and the Manito Aki Inakonigaawin. The Guidebook has been developed for all people in Treaty #3 Territory and can be adapted to fit different ages. There are interactive and self-reflective activities throughout the Guidebook which you can complete on your own or in a group.

Nuclear 101 Guidebook Instructors Guidebook PDF

NIBI Declaration of Treaty #3

Building the Treaty #3 Nibi Declaration Using an Anishinaabe Methodology of Ceremony, Language and Engagement: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/13/4/532/pdf

Oral Translation of the Nibi Declaration by Howard Copenace: Audio File

The development of a water declaration would ensure that Treaty #3 Anishinaabe Nibi Inakonigaawin (water law principles) are recorded and formally recognized in governance processes. The declaration will guide GCT3 Leadership in the creation of future policy and decision-making processes that relate to water. Another component of the declaration is to inspire people to take action to protect water through the development of a toolkit that contains curriculum based learning tools and information on how to get involved in the further development of this important work.

“This knowledge will be preserved and shared through the declaration with our youth and future generations,” said Women’s Council member Priscilla Simard. “Anishinaabe-Ikwewag have a sacred responsibility to NiBi and should be included in all decision-making around nibi. This declaration will guide us in our relationship with NiBi so we can take action individually, in our communities and as a nation to help ensure healthy, living NiBi for all of creation.”

With the declaration  in hand, the Women’s Council will forge ahead with this important work of honouring Nibi throughout the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty #3. An exercise that has seen the Nibi Declaration received through ceremony at the National Spring Assembly and will be distributed to all communities at the National Fall Assembly 2019.

“This declaration is vital for the physical and spiritual health of our Treaty #3 communities, our land, our families and future generations,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “When I was approached with the original model of this declaration, I had a vision that instructed me to tell the people that water is precious and it can give life but water can also be dangerous and can take life.  The Nibi Declaration is a way for Treaty #3 to explain the Anishinaabe relationship to water. This Declaration is about respect, love, and our sacred relationship with nibi and the life that it brings. It is based on Gitiizii m-inaanik teachings about nibi, aki/lands, other elements (including air and wind) and all of creation. This knowledge will be preserved and shared through the declaration with our youth and future generations.”

As Anishinaabe Kwe, the Women’s Council have responsibilities which includes child care and water. Isobel White (Naotkamegwanning – Whitefish Bay), Priscilla Simard (Couchiching), Maggie Petiquan (Wabauskang), Rhonda Fischer (Niisaachewan –  Dalles), Anita Collins (Seine River) are representatives from the four directional governance. The Women’s Council worked together with the Territorial Planning Unit and Decolonizing Water.


Nibi Declaration Toolkit

This Toolkit will provide you with information on how you, your family and your community can support the Nibi Declaration of the Anishinaabe of Treaty #3.

Inside this Toolkit you will learn how the GCT3 Women’s Council started the process to create a Treaty #3 Nibi Declaration with a research support team, and have met with other knowledge keepers/Gitiizii m’inaanik to receive guidance on how to proceed with community engagement. There are also summaries of meetings that have been held to date, the proposed process for the development of the Declaration, examples of other water declarations, and plans for ways to implement the Nibi Declaration.

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