An official with the Saskatchewan Department of the Environment says there has been no new funding announced to be used for studying Woodland Caribou.

Yesterday the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations issued a news release saying another $340,000 had been announced for the study.

The FSIN also said that First Nations communities are not being involved.

In the release, Chief Bobby Cameron stated that “the biologists who have been hired to conduct these studies have done a poor job of involving our communities and keeping them informed.”

Michael Mclaughlan is the Caribou Range Plan Program Manager based in Prince Albert and says the budget for the caribou program was announced in last spring’s provincial budget, and there have been no new additional funding announcements since then.

Mclaughlan says there has been spending on things like leasing aircraft for the winter caribou count, and those are listed online.

“We posted recently in the Orders in Council on the government website where the government has to approve any funding expenditures over fifty thousand dollars for Environment within our program area but that is funding that is funding that was allocated back in April of 2017.”

McLaughlan says that money was already included in the provincial budget, but it needs further order in council approval.

He says the development of the range plan for the woodland caribou in Saskatchewan has included traditional Indigenous knowledge including the study directed by the University of Saskatchewan which included formal and informal interviews with First Nations around the region.