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Montreal Lake Cree Nation has signed a ten-year agreement to increase its local forestry operations.

The Cree Nation’s business venture arm, Montreal Lake Business Ventures, recently signed a softwood supply agreement with BC’s Carrier Forest Products.

The two companies have worked closely in the past, but this new agreement will see Montreal Lake provide local employees, licensing and rights to harvest, while Carrier will look after all the planning and operations.

“The deal allows Montreal Lake Business Ventures to continue growing and fulfilling our mandate of wealth creation as well as creating enhanced business and employment opportunities for members of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation,” said Robert Fincati, CEO of Montreal Lake Business Ventures in a media release.

The operations will be undertaken in the area of Montreal Lake.

Both companies say the deal was made possible through the Prince Albert Forest Management Agreement, where the province provided a 240,000 cubic metre allocation of land to Montreal Lake, so they could participate in the forestry industry.

“Montreal Lake’s traditional and treaty territory is right in the heart of the commercial forest area,” said Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief Edward Henderson in the same media release. “It’s very beneficial for the community to be able to participate in an industry that is located so closely. Many things came together to make this agreement possible, which will provide long term benefits for Montreal Lake for years to come.”