This Lands Management Plan is dedicated to the memory of Frank Duck (Ni-Kes) whose knowledge and way of life continue to be an inspiration to the people of Little Grand Rapids.
Frank Duck (Ni-Kes) was born on a family trapline near Little Grand Rapids on May 12, 1937.
Ni-Kes had three sisters and two brothers. Although he never married, he had many nieces and nephews. Frank Duck lived off the land and spent most of the year hunting, trapping and travelling. He would visit the reserve in spring through the summer. He would leave again in the fall. Frank Duck never used motorized boats or vehicles when travelling, hunting or trapping.
He was one of the last people from Little Grand Rapids who spent most of their time living off the land year round Frank Duck built and used two cabins. One was on Rice Lake and the second was on Pickerel Lake.
Ni-Kes was very respected as a spiritual person and for his traditional knowledge. He used the resources, and plants of the land for making natural medicines. Frank Duck always shared with family and community members the result of his hunting and trapping. Ni-Kes was a very friendly person and liked to play guitar, sing and entertain family and friends. Although he never learned to read and write English, he could sing and play many Country Western songs, especially from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
Frank Duck passed away in Little Grand Rapids in his sleep after a full life and good health in on September 23, 2011.
Little Grand Rapids First Nation is an Ojibway (Saulteaux) speaking community that resides 257km North East of Winnipeg. According to the regional 2003 population statistics Little Grand Rapids has an on reserve population of 1423 and an off-reserve population of 414.
Current economic pursuits available are fishing, trapping and seasonal rice harvest. It is through the creation of a Community Based Land Use Plan (CBLUP) that Little Grand Rapids and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) are working to address protection needs and encourage the growth of a healthy and sustainable economy, for both the community and the province, by defining opportunities associated with lands and resources Little Grand Rapids has been working with the OMNR since 2004.
Dialogue began with an expression of interest in planning.
The neighboring communities of Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi determined that planning would be undertaken separately by each community, in concurrent processes, and with respect for ongoing dialogue with other neighboring communities and with Manitoba.
In 2009, Little Grand Rapids and OMNR reached consensus on and approved a Terms of Reference for preparation of a Community Based Land Use Plan and have since been engaged in a formal planning process.
The planning dialogue moved forward within the context of community objectives, the UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination, and the objectives of the Ontario Far North Planning Initiative.
On July 12, 2011 the Little Grand Rapids Community Based Land Use Plan was approved by Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario. This plan provides reference to respecting traditional and other existing land uses and to protecting the environment. The area is designated as a dedicated protected area within the Little Grand Rapids-Ontario planning area under the Far North Act, 2010. Currently Little Grand Rapids is working toward implementing the direction detailed in their community based land use plan.
Little Grand Rapids First Nation Vision Statement, as per the CBLUP states: The people of Little Grand Rapids First Nation have been part of the land from time immemorial (as long as the oldest elder of our community remembers). We believe and assert that we are part of the land. Our vision for the land is very much a vision of (for) ourselves. We wish to (use) manage our traditional land (in a way) so that our people as (being) part of the land are sustained into the future.
For that purpose we are engaged in the steps needed to arrive at a land use plan for our traditional land in both Manitoba and Ontario.
The planning team adopted a joint Vision Statement (between Little Grand Rapids and Ontario) to express the commitment to continue working together in a positive relationship for implementation of the plan: Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Ontario value their ongoing relationship, working together for the benefit and health of people, land and water. By taking these two land use plan vision statements into account, the Implementation Team developed the following vision statement to describe the desired state of the DPA for future generations to come.