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Ontario issues forest licence to Indigenous-industry partnership


The Ontario government is issuing a forest licence for the Kenogami Forest to a forest management group comprised of Indigenous members and forestry industry companies.

Ogwiidachiwaning Sustainable Forest Management Inc. (OSFMI) will receive a Sustainable Forest Licence, which provides a licence holder with rights to harvest and use wood, along with responsibilities for forest management and forest management planning.

Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy establishes the province’s 10-year plan to create jobs and encourage economic growth through greater local and Indigenous community involvement in forest management.

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OSFMI is the fourth enhanced Sustainable Forest License company in Ontario – a business model developed by the ministry to support local and Indigenous community participation in the management of Crown forests.

The Sustainable Forest Licence issued to OSFMI is applicable for 20 years.

“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,” says Theresa Nelson, OSFMI president  and chief of the Animbigoo Zaagii igan Anishinaabek First Nation.

Mike O’Blenis, AV Group Canada CEO and an OSFMI industry partner, says “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.”

The members of OSFMI include Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Long Lake 58 First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation, Red Rock Indian Band, AV Terrace Bay Inc., Columbia Forest Products Ltd. and Lecours Lumber Co. Ltd.