Developing Ontario's Forestry Sector in the Far North
Ontario, Pikangikum First Nation Committed to Sustainable Forest Management
Pikangikum has been issued a Sustainable Forest Licence (SFL) for the Whitefeather Forest — the only SFL granted to a First Nation community in the Far North.
Through this agreement, Ontario and Pikangikum First Nation will work together to develop the forestry sector, create jobs and boost the local economy.
Under the terms of the licence, Whitefeather Forest Community Resource Management Authority (WFCRMA) will be responsible for implementing a Forest Management Plan, which includes strategies for harvesting and building access roads, monitoring and reporting on compliance, as well as sustainably managing area trees, plants, animal life, water, air, and soil.
Supporting greater Aboriginal involvement in the forestry sector is part of the Ontario government's plan to create a prosperous economy and a fair society for all.
- The Whitefeather Forest is an 11,749-square-kilometre area in northwestern Ontario, located approximately 80 kilometres east of the Manitoba border and 90 kilometres north of the Town of Red Lake.
- In 2006, Pikangikum First Nation and Ontario approved “Keeping the Land,” a community-based land-use strategy for the Whitefeather Forest that supports both protected areas and opportunities for economic development, including forestry.
“We are pleased to work with Pikangikum First Nation so the community can undertake forest management activities in the Whitefeather Forest. Issuing the Sustainable Forest Licence is an important step in implementing Pikangikum’s community-based land use strategy and is a positive outcome of land use planning in the Far North. It will allow Pikangikum to influence its own economic destiny and guide forestry in the area to bring jobs and opportunity to the community.”
“I am pleased by this milestone and what it means for Ontario and First Nations in this province. Issuing the Sustainable Forest Licence is one of the ways Ontario and First Nation communities are forging lasting partnerships. Working together on priority areas, we’re creating economic development opportunities and helping build stronger, healthier communities, both now and in the future.”
“On behalf of the Council of Pikangikum First Nation, I want to note how the issuance of the Sustainable Forest Licence for the Whitefeather Forest is the final and most important planning milestone that will allow our people to move forward economically with a forestry opportunity. I wish to thank our Elders, the rest of the Whitefeather Forest Initiative Team, the MNR staff who have worked with us over the years, and all of our other partners for their dedication and commitment in working with us to reach this major milestone.”
Chief Dean Owen