Seven First Nations Sign Forestry Deal

Thursday, July 03, 2003 at 14:26




An association of seven First Nations in the Prince Albert region has signed an agreement with the provincial government to explore forestry opportunities on their traditional lands.


The Ahtahkakoop, Beardy’s-Okemasis, James Smith, Muskoday, One Arrow, Sturgeon Lake and Wahpeton-Dakota First Nations’ traditional territories include the Nisbet, Fort-a-la-Corne and Canwood provincial forests, also known as the island forests.


The First Nations will work with the province to assess opportunities for a broad range of forestry activities, including harvesting and processing, reforestation and silviculture, training, science and technology, agro-forestry, forest protection and inventory.


As a first step, the First Nations Island Forests Management Association will work with Saskatchewan Environment to prioritize which opportunities to focus on right away. An initial priority will be to convert current annual harvesting rights held by member bands to a three-year term supply licence. The province will work with the First Nations toward a longer-term licence for the unallocated portion of the harvest once land use planning processes currently underway for the island forests are completed.