The Government of Canada contributes $4.7 million to a Cree forestry project

WASHINGTON, QC, November 24, 2022 /CNW/ – In rural, remote and Indigenous communities across the country, Canada’s forest sector continues to play an important role in sustaining and creating good jobs.

The Honorable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sports and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), on behalf of the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, with Irene NeposhChief of the Cree First Nation of In Waswani, Paul Goldpresident of the Mishtuk Corporation, and Michael FilionChief Operating Officer of Chantiers Chibougamau, today announced a $20 million investment, including $4.7 million federal investment, to support the upgrading and restarting of the Cree forestry project in Waswanipi, Quebec.

This is a unique partnership between Mishtuk Corporation and Chantiers Chibougamau, a private company in the region that operates forest products facilities.

Funding will support business planning and partnerships for a more economically sustainable facility and site upgrade and equipment refurbishment. The recommissioned facility will also produce finished lumber for retail markets with a focus on the housing shortage in the Cree region of Quebec.

By creating 30 jobs in the region, the project will contribute to the growth and socio-economic development of the Cree community of In Waswani using local natural resources responsibly and sustainably.

A first financial contribution of an amount of $2.3 million comes from Natural Resources Canada Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI)which provides financial support for Indigenous-led economic development projects from Canada forestry sector. Program benefits include:

  • increased Aboriginal participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance;

  • increased engagement and economic development for communities and indigenous peoples involved in the forest sector; and

  • increased investment and collaboration between Indigenous peoples and other stakeholders in natural resource development, including governments, industry and non-governmental organizations.

DEC also offers a $2.4 million repayable contribution to enable Cree Lumber Limited Partnership to increase its productivity through the acquisition and modernization of equipment. The funding announced today has been provided through the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) program. This program targets businesses and economic organizations to help them prepare local economies for long-term growth. These are strategic investments in projects aimed at reducing from Canada environment and promote a green and resilient economy.

The government of Canada is committed to working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and communities to ensure that they participate in and benefit from the development of natural resources.


“Developing our natural resources in a sustainable way is essential to ensuring future prosperity. And by working in real partnership with Indigenous communities, we can advance meaningful economic reconciliation and create good jobs, while helping to build a low-carbon economy. why the government Canada is happy to support this project. The recommissioning and upgrading of the Cree forestry project will create new opportunities for the local community and from Canada forestry sector in Quebec.”

The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources

“Today’s announcement at Cree Lumber Limited Partnership is great news for the In Waswani community and the Nord-du-Québec region. Our government is proud to grant $4.7M to support this project, which will generate significant economic benefits for the entire region. This investment will allow the In Waswani sawmill to reduce its environmental footprint by using renewable forest resources and to improve its competitiveness. Congratulations to the whole team for their efforts and the continuation of this green shift.”

The Honorable Pascale St-Onge
MNA for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sports and Minister responsible for CED

“It’s all about sustainability: we only take what we need to support ourselves. Above all, we must create economic opportunity and economic prosperity. Announcing Cree Forestry is part of that much-needed vision of sustainability as The reopening of the settlement allows people to be part of the solution to solving the housing crisis and encourages them to build their own homes so that we are not so heavily dependent on social housing.

Irene Neposh
Chief of the Cree First Nation of In Waswani

“The pride we have in the reopening of the establishment is the creation of sustainable jobs for the In Waswani community. These jobs will not disappear overnight. Whether in mechanics or trucking, they will contribute directly to the expansion and sustainability of Cree forest products. »

Paul Gold
President of the Mishtuk Society

“Today’s announcement is not an end; we invest to give our know-how and ensure the sustainability and sustainability of this In Waswanidirected project and make it a commercial and social success. This starts first with the technologies that we have carefully mobilized, with our partners, and adapted to the boreal forest of Nord-du-Québec. When the community asked forestry companies to join this ambitious project, it was natural and also very important for us to accept the invitation and put all our energy and resources into the challenge. »

Michael Filion
Chief Operating Officer of Chantiers Chibougamau

Fast facts

  • NRCan’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) promotes Indigenous inclusion in the forest economy by supporting forest-based, Indigenous-led economic development projects around the world. Canada.

  • from Canada support to increase Indigenous leadership in forestry and forest products manufacturing also advances economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

  • Natural Resources Canada contributes $13 million over three years (2020-2023) for support indigenous forestry projects through Canada through the IFI.

  • Since 2017, the IFI has allocated over $30 million in funding, creating nearly 800 jobs and providing training opportunities for nearly 1,000 Aboriginal people. The program also supported 70 market/feasibility studies; 54 business creation projects; 7 negotiations with industry, jurisdictions and donors; and 41 new or expanded joint ventures.

  • In 2018, Natural Resources Canada invested $300,000 for the Cree First Nation of In Waswani to support business planning and equipment refurbishment at the Nabakatuk Forest Products plant.

Related Information

Indigenous Forestry Initiative
IFI-funded projects
Cree First Nation of In Waswani
CED funding initiatives and programs

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada



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