The forest sector recognizes the unique and vital role Indigenous stewardship plays in managing Canada’s forests, and the importance forests have to the cultural, economic and spiritual relationships Indigenous peoples hold with the land. Many First Nations and Métis communities hold generations of knowledge about the land and forests, giving them a deep understanding of how the forest evolves and how they can be managed in a way that is both environmentally and economically sustainable.
The sector continues to create long-lasting relationships with Indigenous peoples and understands the need to increase the pace of economic reconciliation by developing and facilitating substantive opportunities and a “seat” at the economic table for businesses and careers; by increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples in the forest sector with better human resource tools for recruiting, developing and retaining Indigenous talent; by demonstrating leadership and helping influence other decision-makers to widen the scope for participation in the sector and; by providing inclusive education for management and staff on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools.
The sector also supports jobs in more than 400 Indigenous communities, employing 11,600 Indigenous workers. There are about 1,400 Indigenous-owned businesses included in Canada’s forest sector that typically employ between 10 and 30 people with revenues of more than $1 million a year. Expanding these opportunities range from more ownership of traditional infrastructure like sawmills, to creating space in the innovative production and distribution of biofuels, to access to pools of capital for investment in Indigenous projects and businesses.
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