Mohawks receive $300,000 in federal funding for water source protection plan study

Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio. File photo.

Beaver Staff

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte will receive a pair of federal grants totalling over $300,000 to fund a community climate change impact study and a water source protection plan.

Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio announced Thursday morning that the First Nation Adapt Program would provide the MBQ $199,183 over two years.

The program provides funding to First Nation communities located below the 60th parallel to assess and respond to climate change impacts on community infrastructure and emergency management.

Indigenous Services Canada’s Lands and Economic Development Services Program is also providing funding to MBQ in the sum of $102,190 to undertake an Intake Protection Zone Study.

“I’m happy to see further movement from Indigenous Services to provide funding for the water needs of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte,” said Bossio in a release. “Chief (Donald) Maracle and his team are strong advocates, and we have a government that is committed to helping improve the lives of Indigenous peoples.”

The program works with First Nation communities to identify region-specific priorities, impacts and opportunities for climate change projects. The program prioritizes First Nation communities most impacted by climate change related to sea level rise, flooding, forest fires and winter road failures. According to the government, these disruptive and costly impacts present significant challenges to meeting First Nation communities’ infrastructure needs.

The program provides support for communities to study how vulnerable they are to climate change, what they can do to offset the damages of climate change and how much of a financial benefit they’d enjoy from implementing those new strategies.

“With the drought two years ago and the flooding of the past summer, we are eager to begin with assessment and planning activities that this funding will enable us to undertake,” added Chief Maracle. “It is our goal to be in a position to be prepared to deal with more drastic fluctuations in weather and ensure that it is reflected in our Emergency Management Plan. Our priorities are to ensure the health and safety of our people and our environment.”

The additional funding from the 2017 budget will support climate impact assessments and adaptation planning efforts in communities at significant risk of flooding. The program will work closely with communities to integrate the best scientific and Indigenous knowledge on climate indicators, flooding exposure and future climate projections.

Data from the proposed study will be used to help develop a source water protection plan for the Mohawks.

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