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Aboriginal Entrepreneur Wins FPAC/AFN Business Award


July 1, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada
The Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership award was presented during the Assembly of First Nations annual meeting in Calgary. Shown above are (from left to right): Roger Augustine

CALGARY — The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) have selected Grace Esquega, president of Niigaani Enterprises, as the first winner of the FPAC/AFN …

CALGARY — The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) have selected Grace Esquega, president of Niigaani Enterprises, as the first winner of the FPAC/AFN Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership Award.

The award honours First Nations entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance, and the delivery of high-quality products and services.

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“This award means a great deal to me and to my staff,” says Ms. Esquega. “It signifies the successful culmination of a long journey for my family and the many workers who were part of a dream — a dream that my husband had in 1983 when he started Niigaani Enterprises. He envisioned a logging operation, owned and operated by native people, which would provide our community with meaningful employment for a long time. I look around and see many families that benefit from this company and feel a sense of security.”

Niigaani has been delivering fibre to Thunder Bay area sawmills and pulp and paper mills for more than 25 years.


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