GERALDTON — The Ontario government is securing greater Indigenous community involvement in forest management on the Kenogami Forest by issuing a forest licence to Ogwiidachiwaning Sustainable Forest Management Inc. (OSFMI), a new company whose members include local First Nations and forest industry companies.
“As First Nations people our future and livelihoods are intricately tied to the forests. By working together our First Nations have made accomplishments, and by working with the forest companies we will all benefit in the long run”, said OSFMI President Theresa Nelson, Chief of the Animbigoo Zaagii igan Anishinaabek First Nation.
“The first pillar of our government’s forest sector strategy includes a commitment that economic benefits from forestry will create opportunities for Indigenous communities and businesses,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “This new company will help realize the tremendous potential in Ontario’s forests and support economic prosperity in neighbouring Indigenous communities.”
OSFMI is the fourth enhanced Sustainable Forest License company in Ontario – a business model developed by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to support local and Indigenous community participation in the management of Crown forests.
AV Group Canada CEO Mike O’Blenis, an OSFMI industry partner added, “Trust and respect have been the guiding principles in our engagement with our First Nation partners. We could not have arrived at this collective achievement otherwise”.