The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach
Monday, December 3, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.
Protectors of our water and soil, guardians of the future, members and friends of the Seine-Rat River Conservation District, it’s a pleasure to join you this evening to celebrate an organization and a group of volunteers who are dedicated to the future of our province and our planet.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
A little over a century ago, this land where we are meeting was part of thousands of square miles of wet prairie – a mix of forest, field and marsh where the first farmers struggled to drain off enough water to plant and harvest crops.
For centuries before, it was rich country for hunting and trapping, with meandering rivers, bogs and marshes filled with moose, beavers and muskrats.
And thousands of years before that, where we are standing was silt and mud at the bottom of Lake Agassiz.
Life in this corner of Manitoba – as everywhere else on earth – is determined by water – by its presence, its absence or its quality.
Today, as our population has grown and our technology has become vastly more powerful, we find that no longer is it just that we depend on water. Now, water depends on us as well.
Our water depends on organizations like the Seine Rat River Conservation District and leaders in conservation like those being honoured tonight.
These volunteers and role models have worked to keep nutrients out of waterways, reduce erosion, protect groundwater, improve water storage and plan water management and protection across southeastern Manitoba.
They realize that water connects everything – living and non-living, human and animal, the past, present and future.
They see that, in the words of the angler and author Norman Maclean, “everything merges into one – and a river runs through it.”
To all those who work to protect and enhance the rivers and creeks that run through our province, I offer thanks and congratulations on your accomplishments here in the Seine-Rat River Conservation District.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.