First Nations forestry gets funding
A provincial government announcement Wednesday provides $1.2 million in federal-provincial funding for the First Nations Forest Sector Technical Support Program.
The funding, announced by Minister of State (Sport) Gary Lunn and Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands Pat Bell, will help First Nations with economic development in the forest and wood products industries.
“Our government realizes that First Nations groups need help building capacity in the forestry sector,” said Lunn on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Today’s investment is an important step in supporting start- up First Nations businesses, while improving the competitiveness of our resource-based communities.”
The Technical Support Program will help First Nations groups develop new and existing forest-related businesses. Participants will be provided with technical advice and hands-on expertise, such as best practices in harvesting, transportation, equipment selection, mill layout, manufacturing, market intelligence and market opportunities.
“The Technical Support Program directly addresses several recommendations in the 2009 report by the Working Roundtable on Forestry,” said Bell, “particularly the goal of supporting First Nations in becoming full partners in forestry.”
Over a two-year period, the Technical Support Program aims to expand the number of First Nation bands and businesses involved in forest and wood products industries, as well as increase employment within First Nation communities. Industry experts with FPInnovations, the world’s largest private, not-for-profit forest research institute, will supply information and guidance to First Nations businesses.
Staff from FPInnovations will begin administering the program and deploying industry advisors this month. For more information, please contact the program manager, Dave McRae of FPInnovations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.