Bridge completion opens door for blueberry development by First Nation
ESGENOÔPETITJ FIRST NATION (GNB) – The completion of a bridge on Esgenoôpetitj First Nation, which will allow the community to develop 249 hectares (600 acres) of reserve land for blueberry development, was celebrated here today.
The bridge, constructed by Fornebu Lumber, was made possible in part by an investment of $247,000 from the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund. The community is working to develop the area specifically for wild blueberry harvesting.
“Our government is working collaboratively with First Nation communities to strengthen our relationship,” said Government Services Minister Ed Doherty, who is also minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. “As part of that relationship, we work closely to foster economic opportunities like this one, which has tremendous potential.”
Work began in August and the bridge was completed on Sept. 11.
“Esgenoôpetitj is located in the heart of one of New Brunswick’s major wild blueberry producing regions, providing a strategic competitive advantage and a perfect opportunity for the First Nation to partner in expanding the industry, creating jobs and supporting families in the community,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet.
The departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries managed the bridge contract.
“The partnership created is a demonstration of the positive relationships being fostered among industry, government and First Nations,” said Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry. “I am pleased that the Department of Natural Resources was able to play a role in the construction of this important piece of infrastructure for the community.”
Bonnie Doyle Creber, communications, Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, 506-444-5026.
Elaine Bell, communications, Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, 506-453-8607.
Marc Belliveau, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-7928.