LAC SEUL FIRST NATION – Lac Seul First Nation have announced that the First Nation has entered into a Five-Year Forest Management Agreement with the Ontario Government. Obishikokaang Resources, a Forest Management company will manage the Lac Seul Forest. The signing celebration and feast was held in the community of Frenchman’s Head, Lac Seul First Nation on Tuesday, July 31, 2012.
This agreement will allow the First Nation to: manage the forest, receive economic benefits, and increase jobs, among a myriad of other positive impacts. Currently, the forest is being put to work and operations are continuing on the forest.
Lac Seul First Nation has entered into a Five-Year Forest Management Agreement with the Ontario Government. This event is very significant in the management of Ontario’s forests, as First Nations are not typically the entity managing the forest. Historically, single entity forestry companies control management responsibilities. This change will allow Lac Seul First Nation to engage in
management of the forest, and not be considered as simply a stakeholder.
Consequently, the area of the Lac Seul Forest covers much of the Lac Seul
First Nation’s traditional area. I would like the angle of this story to
include not only what is written in the attached press release, but also to
touch on how this evolution in forest management came to be, and its meaning
to First Nation people.
Distinguished guests included:
• Grand Chief White, Grand Council Treaty #3
• Chief Clifford Bull, Lac Seul First Nation
• Chief Lorraine Crane, Slate Falls First Nation
• Honorable Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay – Superior North and Minister of Natural Resources
• Greg Rickford, MP for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
• Sarah Campbell, MPP for Kenora
• Allan Willcocks, Regional Director – Northwest Region MNR
• Bob David, District Manager – Sioux Lookout District MNR
• Bert Hennessey, District Manager – Dryden District MNR
• Carrie Hayward, Assistant Deputy Minister – OMNR
• Jim Blight, General Manager – Domtar Inc.
Community members of Lac Seul First Nation also participated in the celebration. Lac Seul First Nation would like to recognize gck Consulting Ltd. led by Genevieve Knauff for their support and guidance in making this agreement possible. Genevieve and her staff were involved right from the beginning, developed the business plan which led to Obishikokaang Resources Corporation and were instrumental in establishing long term agreements with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Industry, local operators, and other stakeholders.
gck Consulting will continue to assist Lac Seul First Nation to manage the forest resource with the goal of building capacity within the community to transfer management responsibilities to band members in the future. Lac Seul First Nation looks forward to working with gck Consulting in developing additional economic opportunities for our community.
“The opportunity to participate in the management of the Lac Seul Forest is a great day for our people, as we have been waiting for over a hundred years to have a greater say in the management of our lands.” shared Chief Clifford Bull, Lac Seul First Nation.
“This arrangement will enhance Lac Seul First Nation’s involvement in local forest management planning and position First Nations for more meaningful involvement in any new tenure models. The ministry looks forward to working with Obishikokaang, Lac Seul First Nation and the other partners toward the success of this initiative” enthused Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources.
“The Federal Government has been a strong supporter of Lac Seul First Nation, so they can be in the best position to engage in this and other development opportunities” said Greg Rickford, MP for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs