The Federal and Provincial governments are providing over a million dollars to establish a First Nations Forest Sector Technical Support Program. Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands, Pat Bell says the government realizes First Nations groups need help building capacity in the forestry sector.
“First Nations have increased the volume of timber they have access to dramatically over the past ten years, ” says Bell, “Ten years ago they had just 2 million cubic metres per year available, now it’s over 12 million cubic metres. It’s important as they start accessing that timber that they’re able to build profitable companies.”
The program will provide technical advice and hands-on training. Over a two year period, the program aims to expand the number of First Nation bands and businesses involved in forest and wood product industries. It also seeks to increase employment within First Nation communities.