The Whitefeather Forest Initiative is guided by our Elders for our youth today and for future generations. Our Elders are the inspiration of the Initiative and gave the original mandate to develop the Whitefeather Forest Initiative in 1996. In 2000 they formed the Whitefeather Forest Initiative Steering group through which they guide the Initiative. Other Indigenous Knowledge experts from Pikangikum also participate on the Steering Group. In our Ojibway culture we honour and esteem Elders who have contribute greatly to maintaining our identity and way of life. They are referred to not just as Akiwenziwug, or elderly ones, but as Kitchi Anishinaabeg or Kitchi Aywii’ug meaning highly esteemed ones.
Some of the Elders who were with us at the beginning of planning for the Whitefeather Forest Initiative are no longer with us today. We honour and cherish the wonderful gifts of knowledge and guidance that they have contributed to the planning of the Initiative.
We gratefully acknowledge the following former Chiefs of Pikangikum First Nation, who together with their Councils, have supported our work to develop the Whitefeather Forest Initiative:
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The Whitefeather Forest lies within ancestral lands of the people of Pikangikum First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.