OTTAWA, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - It is with great pleasure that the members
of the Boreal Leadership Council (BLC) congratulate fellow member
Sophia Rabliauskas of Poplar River First Nation in Manitoba for winning
Earth Day Canada's prestigious Ongoing Commitment Award. Ms.
Rabliauskas has been recognized for her efforts to protect the lands in
Poplar River's traditional territory in Manitoba.
"Sophia embodies all that we strive to achieve with the BLC," said Bob
Walker, chair of the BLC and Vice President, ESG Services for NEI
Investments. "Her approach is thoughtful and inclusive. Poplar River
has shown that comprehensive land use planning is a key mechanism for
balancing ecological, cultural, and development objectives."
First convened in 2003, the BLC is a unique alliance of conservation and
environmental groups groups, Aboriginal groups, resource companies, and
financial institutions that are committed to conservation and
responsible development solutions in Canada's Boreal Forest. Members of
the BLC are also signatories to the Boreal Forest Conservation
Framework, a vision to conserve at least half of the Boreal Forest
while supporting sustainable communities, world-leading ecosystem-based
resource management practices and state-of-the-art stewardship
practices in a manner that respects Aboriginal rights.
Earth Day Canada selected Ms. Rabliauskas for the Ongoing Commitment
Award for: "…helping secure a five year reprieve from logging, hydro,
gas and mining development. She followed this work by helping develop
The Asatiwisipe Aki Lands Management Plan, a full-scale blueprint of
how they intend to document, protect and sustainably manage Poplar
River's forests, wildlife and other natural resources." Sophia is also
the spokesperson for Pimachiowin Aki, a group of five First Nations in
Manitoba and Ontario whose goal is to secure over 43 000 km2 of pristine boreal forest as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In January
2012, Pimachiowin Aki sent their nomination to UNESCO.
Through her work, Ms. Rabliauskas has consistently shown the
understanding of the land that has been passed down from their Elders,
and the responsibility this knowledge brings: "the Creator has given us
life, he has given us land to live from, without that land our people
will die."(Poplar River Elder).
Sophia is an Aboriginal woman to whom youth from all across Canada can
look to as an inspiration, as an example of someone who made a
difference through a respectful, patient, and astute approach to her
work and her community. Ms. Rabliauskus' award was presented during a
gala ceremony in Toronto. Ms. Rabliauskus is also a past winner of the
prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize and is a member of the Order of
Manitoba's boreal region covers nearly 600,000 square kilometers, almost
90% of the province. Canada's boreal region contains one-quarter of
the world's remaining original forests and huge expanses of wetlands.
Canada's boreal is home to a vast array of wildlife, including
migratory songbirds, waterfowl, bears, and caribou. It is an immensely
important buffer against climate change. The region's natural wealth
sustains hundreds of Aboriginal communities and supports thousands of
About the Boreal Leadership Council
The Boreal Leadership Council, first convened in 2003, is comprised of
leading environmental and conservation groups, Aboriginal groups,
resource companies and financial institutions, all of which have an
interest and a stake in the future of Canada's Boreal Forest: http://www.borealcanada.ca/lead-council-e.php
Members of the Boreal Leadership Council are:
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Dehcho First Nations
Domini Social Investments LLC
Ducks Unlimited Canada
The Nature Conservancy
The Pembina Institute
Poplar River First Nation
Suncor Energy Inc.
Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
World Wildlife Fund (Canada)
SOURCE Boreal Leadership Council
For further information:
Suzanne Fraser, Canadian Boreal Initiative, 613-522-7277, email@example.com