Moose Deer Point First Nation - Strategic Priorities
Moose Deer Point has participated in numerous initiatives to expand community autonomy over its land base, its governance structures, and its economic options. The partners of Incite Planning have had the privilege of assisting with many of these efforts, in an advisory, an administrative, or a professional capacity.
Recently, Moose Deer Point undertook a Community Economic Development Strategic Plan. This involved an analysis of the community's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and a thorough census of its members and survey of its youth. As well, extensive research was conducted of both the internal and external economic parameters and ecological context. The outcome was a strategic guide for implementation and evaluation.
Previously, the First Nation faced the difficulty of uniting a community with physically separated land holdings. The negotiations to obtain more land encompassed the federal & provincial governments, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Parks, The District of Muskoka, and the Township of Georgian Bay. We participated extensively in the discussions, giving professional and technical advice to help secure the First Nation’s interests. We also provided supporting documentation that accommodated the immediate neighbours, while protecting the ecological functions of the land itself. The process required an Environmental Study Report, for which we selected the consultants and coordinated the project.
At this time, Moose Deer Point discovered an opportunity to create an enterprise with an industrial partner. This also generated intense interest from the neighbours and increased the need for dialogue amongst the Township, the MNR, and the First Nation. Part of the solution was a protocol to notify everyone regarding land use issues of mutual concern. We contributed to the drafting of the O’Donnell Point Notification Protocol, one of the first multi-lateral Consultation documents.
In the midst of this activity, the need for a land use plan arose. We made comprehensive revisions to the initial draft of the Pottawatomi of Moose Deer Point First Nation (Mitawbik) Land Use Plan, according to Conservation Planning principles, and by honouring the First Nation’s tradition of holding all of its land in common, without the use of Certificates of Possession. These revisions were presented to the community, its’ leadership, as well as the negotiation table, and have inspired ongoing efforts to obtain self-management of Moose Deer Point lands.