Canada Strengthens Indigenous Innovation in Saskatchewan’s Forest Sector
From: Natural Resources Canada
August 14, 2019 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Natural Resources Canada
Canada’s forest sector continues to be an important source of employment across the country, including in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. That is why Canada is investing in projects to equip Indigenous communities with tools to build greener businesses and promote economic stability in the forest sector.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced a $3 million investment in Meadow Lake Tribal Council Industrial Investments LP to modernize its NorSask Forest Products facility with necessary upgrades and innovative technologies.
The new and improved facility will significantly enhance efficiency and reduce energy consumption while sustaining hundreds of jobs and driving economic growth in the region.
The funding is provided through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) program, which supports Indigenous-led economic development opportunities in Canada’s forest sector. By investing in forest sector technologies, we can provide greener solutions that will help tackle climate change and transition toward a low-carbon economy.
Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada committed an additional $12.6 million over three years for the IFI program. This investment will support the continued development of new forest-based technologies and products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help Indigenous communities increase and diversify market opportunities.
Meadow Lake Tribal Council Industrial Investments LP is a for-profit organization that has been in forestry management since 1987 and acquired a 100 percent stake in NorSask in 1998. NorSask is a lumber manufacturer and the largest, wholly First Nations–owned sawmill in Canada.
“Investing in Indigenous-led businesses in Canada’s forest sector supports economic growth and job creation in Indigenous communities while promoting clean energy solutions for future generations. We are proud to support the NorSask facility as it invests in new innovative technologies that will sustain hundreds of jobs in Northwest Saskatchewan.”
– The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
“The funding received by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) from Natural Resources Canada’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative is a strong statement of support by the federal government for forest-based economic development among Indigenous communities. Specifically, the financial support provided by NRCAN undergirds 30 years of MLTC ownership, investment, employment opportunity and growth in the forest product manufacturing sector in northwest Saskatchewan. Through this kind of affirmative action, the federal government demonstrates its commitment to ensuring ongoing and sustained participation of Indigenous communities in forestry-based economic opportunities.”
– Richard Ben
Tribal Chief, Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources