The Manitoba NDP has questioned a government decision to name or rename eight provincial wildlife management areas after men.
To call the decision an "oversight" in 2021 would be kind, New Democrat MLA Nahanni Fontaine said..
The government announced its decision to name the wildlife management areas in a news release Monday.
The "prominent Manitobans" who received the honour were exclusively men and none was Indigenous.
"I would imagine that most folks in 2021 would recognize that there are phenomenal Manitoba women that these areas could have been named after. Or in an era of reconciliation, we could have had these areas renamed in the traditional language and territory and understanding of Indigenous peoples," Fontaine said Tuesday.
"Maybe it was an oversight, maybe it was strategic and methodical. I don’t know."
The individuals honoured were people who have provided life-long dedication to the improvement of Manitoba wildlife and wildlife habitat, Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen said in the release.
The wildlife management areas play an important role in biodiversity conservation and provide a variety of wildlife-related forms of recreation including birding and wildlife watching, the news release said.
The announcement provides a glimpse into who the government thinks is prominent, "who they think should be recognized and acknowledged and who they think don't really matter," Fontaine said.
"They could have reached out to Indigenous communities who are in that area. They could have reached out to women’s organizations. They could have reached out even to women in their own caucus to provide names of Manitoba women that could be considered (for the honour)," she said.