Gespe’gewa’gi is defined by its waters, and the culture that is rooted here is linked to these waters and the life it provides. The Mi’gmaq highly value water and are therefore concerned with the use, allocation of, and any threats to water.
For these reasons, we as a directorate use what is called a “Water-First Approach.” This approach has been adopted by the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi as one of the main guiding principles in the development of the Gespe’gewa’gi Management Plan.
The intent of this vision is to give priority to water over financial interests. Any plans to develop cannot hinder the functional delivery of water quality anywhere on the territory.
For the Mi’gmaq, water is the number one resource to be protected.
As a result, the Mi’gmaq Priority Use Watersheds Management Plan has been developed.
Important questions to ask when implementing a Water-First Approach:
– Is there a risk that the project will affect the quality of water?
– Is there a risk that the project will impact the quantity of water?
– Is there a risk that the project will affect the rhythm of the water delivered to the ecosystems?
What does it mean to implement a Watershed Management Plan?
A watershed refers to a region or area of land that drains into either a stream, river system, basin, or body of water.
Development in Gespe’gewa’gi must involve the Mi’gmaq in the decision-making process for effective watershed management and protection of our waters. Mi’gmaq rights and responsibilities require collaboration by the Provincial and Federal Governments in any discussions about exploration, ownership, participation, and production to ensure long term sustainability of all environments.