Missanabie Cree to study invasive species with new grant

The Missanabie Cree First Nation will be studying its reserve lands for evidence of invasive species with the help of a new grant.

The First Nation is one of 24 to receive a $1000 grant from the Invasive Species Centre, in celebration of the centre's tenth anniversary.

"This will be relatively new work for us, as we look to get this setup this summer," said Chief Jason Gauthier. "But there's a lot of traditional and ecological knowledge that the community has shared with our office so that we can create and understand where we are."

The First Nation will look to gather evidence of the emerald ash borer and bats existing within their reserve lands.

Chief Gauthier said it can also open the doors for future research.

"Learning how to do what we're doing right now, may be a catalyst to doing other things in other places," he said. "It's important work and we're excited to be able to get this going."

The invasive species centre said grants like this are important to get more research projects underway.

Based on its recent study, it said the economical impact from invasive species to industries in Ontario is roughly $3.6 billion per year.

"Sometimes that $1000 makes a difference," said Deborah Sparks, a spokesperson for the centre. "It allows a project to happen that might not otherwise happen."

The First Nation said it expects to have everything in place to begin their studies sometime this summer.