Area leaders sign historic documentTuesday, October 09, 2012 by: Kate AdamsNorth Bay Mayor Al McDonald
Area Chiefs and Mayors met today at the North Bay waterfront to sign the Lake Nipissing “Stewardship Declaration”.
Chief Couchie of Nipissing First Nation, Mayor McDonald of North Bay, Mayor Lavigne of Callander, Mayor Haufe of Nipissing Township, Chief Restoule of Dokis First Nation, Mayor Savage of West Nipissing, Mayor Bouffard of French River and Mayor Schoppmann of St. Charles were on hand to participate in this ceremony. President George Burton of Canadore College and Interim President Vicky Paine-Mantha of Nipissing University also attended to witness the signing of the declaration.
The Stewardship Declaration represents an agreement by area leaders to implement the commitments made at the April 2012 Lake Nipissing Summit. First Nations, user groups and municipalities that surround the Lake attended the Summit and four main recommendations were made:
1. To increase public awareness of the issues affecting Lake Nipissing.
2. To enhance management of information and accessibility of data with stakeholders and the broader public.
3. To enable efforts of cooperation between public and governments responsible for the health of the lake.
4. To ensure the sustainability of the Lake Nipissing Summit and the vision its leaders have established.
“Today is a historical day in that all the leaders of the communities that touch the shores of Lake Nipissing played an equal and important role in, coming together to protect this important asset for future generations,” said Mayor Al McDonald. "We look forward in working with all groups to achieve this goal.”
Chief Marianna Couchie adds, “This level of cooperation we are seeing toward a commitment to the health of our lake is unprecedented. It has led to new relationships being formed and hopefully many new ideas as to how we can all make an effort to protect “Our Great Lake.” I am very excited about this process.
In 2011, Chief Marianna Couchie met with Mayor Al McDonald to discuss a range of issues affecting the health of Lake Nipissing. They agreed to reach out to the leaders surrounding the lake to seek a common understanding and raise awareness about the delicate state of this most precious resource. The result was the Lake Nipissing Summit, held in April 2012 and a renewed commitment to work together to ensure the health of the lake.