An Indigenous community north of Prince Albert is attempting to keep wealth creation in its own hands by signing an agreement with a forestry company.
The Montreal Lake Business Ventures group signed into a 10-year agreement with Carrier Forest Products, which will see Kaskew, a subsidiary of the venture group, provide local employees, licensing and rights to harvest trees for Carrier. Carrier will in turn look after planning and operations of all projects.
“Carrier is a proven company that has built a reputation for operating innovative and profitable sawmills in British Columbia and Saskatchewan,” Robert Fincati, CEO of Montreal Lake Business Ventures said in a press release. “This deal provides continued stability for our subsidiary company, Kaskew Forestry Products.”
Fincati said the agreement will allow Montreal Lake Business Ventures to “continue growing and fulfilling our mandate of wealth creation” as well as create employment opportunities for Montreal Lake Cree Nation members.
Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief, and Board Chair for Montreal Lake Business Ventures Edward Henderson said the partnership between his band and Carrier was made possible with help from the provincial government.
Under the Prince Albert Forest Management Agreement, 240,000 cubic meters of forest had been given to the Cree Nation, Henderson said.
“Montreal Lake’s traditional treaty territory is right in the heart of the commercial forest area,” Henderson said. “It’s very beneficial for the community to be able to participate in an industry that is located so closely.”
Montreal Lake Business Ventures and Carrier have been in a relationship for 22-years according to Bill Kordyban, the president of Carrier Forest Products. He called the new agreement another chapter in a positive partnership.
“Montreal Lake possess relevant traditional knowledge, a secure timber supply and a local pool of workers,” Kordyban said. “We look forward to working with Montreal Lake for the next 10 years and beyond to secure the future as a resource industry in Canada that’s dependable.”
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