ManOMin conference gets underway here Friday

Now only two days away, Jennifer Mercer is confident the inaugural ManOMin watershed conference here should go off without a hitch.
“I’m very calm about it now,” said the event’s organizer, who also works as a biologist with Rainy River First Nation’s watershed project.
“The organizational aspect of it is no longer a concern, and now I can just wait and hope for more people to sign up,” she added.
Previously voicing concern over whether the conference would draw enough delegates, Mercer is since satisfied with the more than 100 confirmed guests who will be at La Place Rendez-Vous on Friday and Saturday.
“But I still haven’t seen the numbers coming in from the public that I’d like to,” she added, noting most registrants are from government or non- government organizations.
“Members of the public can, and should, attend. They can still register Friday and Saturday by just showing up,” noted Mercer.
The two-day conference will feature more than 20 speakers, with seminar themes ranging from “Keeping our roots in the land: Land use in the basin,” to “Green slime: Why do algal blooms occur in my lake?”
But the presentation Mercer is looking forward to most, and one she’d like to see many area tourism operators attend, is Oliver Martin of the Canadian Tourism Commission.
“It should be really interesting. I’ve heard he’s a very animated speaker,” she enthused.
Presenters will come from Toronto and Ottawa as well as parts of Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario.
And even though the conference has not yet begun, Mercer already is proud to see ManOMin come together like it has so far.
“There’s never been anything like this held in the boundary waterways,” she remarked. “It’s quite impressive to have a First Nation work to set up a conference that’s for everyone in the area.”
The fee to register is $45, which covers a snack Friday and lunch Saturday, as well as an information package to take home.
The conference runs from 1-5 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, or to register, contact Mercer at 482-2479 or www.water@first-nation.com.