Anishinaabe Cultural Consultant Kim Wheatley and Susan Robertson were retained by the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Niagara Escarpment Foundation to prepare a Knowledge-Building Partnership Guide for the new Transitional Leadership Committee of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve(NEBR).
The Guide helps fulfill UNESCO’s direction to the NEBR to to fully engage with Indigenous peoples in leadership of this Biosphere Reserve. The Transitional Leadership Committee, which does not yet include Indigenous representation, needed insights into how to build relationships with First Nations and Métis communities with treaty and traditional lands in the Niagara Escarpment in a good way. The Partnership Guide serves as an information handbook on the UNESCO context and who the Treaty People and Indigenous communities are in the Niagara Escarpment area; and what each Indigenous community’s priorities, community economic development goals, cultural protocols and initiatives are. The Guide also provides information on languages, elections, chief and councilors, and contacts for each community
The hope is that this Guide will serve the 3R’s and support meaningful relationship development between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples on the Niagara Escarpment. It also supports the interrelationships of Indigenous rights and environmental land use planning in Ontario.