IFI funded projects
The Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) supports Indigenous-led economic development in Canada’s forest sector. Funding aims to increase Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance.
The IFI also delivers the Northern and Remote Forest Biomass Initiative, in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada under the Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI). This partnership provides funding for heat and power biomass projects in Indigenous communities.
- Acadia First Nation
- Agoke Development Corporation
- Confederacy of the Mainland Mi’kmaq and Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources
- Cree First Nation of Waswanipi
- Esk’etemc First Nation
- Gitxsan Development Corporation
- Gitxsan Energy Inc.
- Homalco First Nation
- Kebaowek First Nation
- Kitselas First Nation
- Kwadacha Nation
- Meadow Lake Tribal Council
- Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Incorporated
- Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation
- Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum
- Nu Ch’anie Society
- Rat River Development Corporation
- Teslin Tlingit Council
- Timiskaming First Nation
- Tobique First Nation
- Tsay Keh Dene Nation
- Tzah Tez Tlee Development Corporation
- Ungava Gourmande
- Whitesand First Nation
- Wiikwemkoong First Nation
- Wikwemikong Development Commission
- Witset First Nation Band
- Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation
- Yukon Government
- Yunesit’in Government
Acadia First Nation
Location: Acadia First Nation, Nova Scotia
Investment: $48,000 (IFI and SPI)
This 2020 investment supported Acadia First Nation in completing a standing timber inventory of their current woodlot and reporting on the findings. This investment helped increase the forest management capacity regarding merchantable wood.
It also included the purchase of a firewood processor, which will increase efficiency and safety in community firewood production.
Read more about our investment in building capacity and supporting the transfer of knowledge.
Agoke Development Corporation
Location: Ogoki Forest Management Unit, Northwestern Ontario
Investment: $500,000 (IFI)
This 2019 to 2020 investment supported Agoke Development Limited Partnership (ADLP) to train up to 40 members of participating First Nations communities to work in the forest products sector as truck drivers, millwrights, power engineers and heavy equipment mechanics. The project helped create a model for Indigenous communities, natural resource companies and governments across Canada to attract workers to remote regions as well as Indigenous peoples to engage in the labour market.
Read more about our investment in the Anishnawbe Workforce Development Maintenance Program.
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Investment: $120,000 (IFI and SPI)
This 2017 investment supported Carbonix, a Canadian Indigenous technology company, in investigating an activated carbon product manufactured from biomass boiler ash.
The aim of the project was to remove carbons produced from sustainably sourced feedstock. These extracted carbons captured contaminants from various industrial waste streams and mine tailings; accelerating the return of water used during the extraction process back to the environment and quicken land restoration.
Read more about our investment in Carbonix’s activated carbon project.
Confederacy of the Mainland Mi’kmaq and Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia
Investment: $873,600 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2016 and ended in 2020, supported Mi'kmaq participation in the transformation of Nova Scotia's forests by promoting a holistic Mi'kmaw approach to forestry. Known as Netukulimk, this approach ensures forest development is consistent with Indigenous values and creates jobs in Indigenous communities.
Read more about our investment in the Mi’kmaw approach to forest development project.
Cree First Nation of Waswanipi
Location: Waswanipi, Quebec
Investment: $300,000 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2017 and ended in 2019, supported business planning and the reconditioning of equipment for the reopening of the Nabakatuk Forest Products facility. The facility produces mill-finished timber for retail markets and is an important employer in the community.
Read more about our investment in the Nabakatuk sawmill upgrade project.
Esk’etemc First Nation
Location: Alkali Lake, British Columbia
Investment: $148,000 (IFI)
From 2017 to 2018, this project supported the training of community members in forest management, environmental monitoring, business development, as well as safety and first aid. This training provided the knowledge to support the community’s forest-based economic development.
Read more about our investment in the Esk’etemc First Nation’s forestry and environmental training program.
Gitxsan Development Corporation
Location: Hazelton, British Columbia
Investment: $1,165,000 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2013 and ended in 2018, laid the foundation for the Gitxsan to participate in and benefit from major forest resource projects occurring within, and near, their territory.
Read more about our investment in the Gitxsan opportunities initiative project.
Gitxsan Energy Inc.
Location: Hazelton, British Columbia
Investment: $225,000 (IFI and SPI)
This 2018 to 2019 investment supported Gitxsan Energy Inc. in building a structure to house equipment required for a large community bioheat initiative. The larger initiative displaces diesel for heat and energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more about our investment in the Skeena Arena bioheat initiative.
Homalco First Nation
Location: Campbell River, British Columbia
Investment: $245,000 (IFI)
This 2020 investment supported forest tenure management and contract logging operations.
This project included tasks related to communications, tenure management, harvesting, business planning, equipment purchases and GIS/referral capacity to strengthen business operations and increase community revenues.
Read more about our investment in Homalco Forestry Initiatives.
Kebaowek First Nation
Location: Kipawa, Quebec
Investment: $100,000 (IFI)
This project supported eight workers from Kebaowek Forestry Operations to complete a 16-week training program. Through the training program, the Kebaowek Forestry Operations reached the standards required for successful forest harvesting production. Operational efficiency and productivity increased, which enabled additional hires within the community. The training program and continued opportunity for economic development has also enabled greater involvement by the community in economic activities on their traditional lands.
Read more about our investment in Kebaowek First Nation’s forestry professionals training program
Kitselas First Nation
Location: Terrace, British Columbia
Investment: $669,000 (IFI and SPI)
Between 2013 and 2017, the Kitselas First Nation investigated business development activities related to land reclamation and other restoration opportunities. In 2018, a feasibility study on potential biomass, combined heat and power energy systems using local wood residue to reduce the community’s reliance on diesel fuel happened.
Read more about our investment in Kitselas First Nation’s potential energy and economic development project.
Location: Fort Ware, British Columbia
Investment: $143,000 (IFI and SPI)
Between 2016 and 2018, the Kwadacha Nation examined the storage and use of local biomass to fuel a bioenergy plant for electricity and heat. Activities supported by this multi-year investment included a feedstock supply analysis, a briquette manufacturing feasibility study and business plan as well as a report on lessons learned regarding bioenergy design and installation.
Read more about our investment in Kwadacha Nation’s bioenergy review and feasibility studies project.
Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Location: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan
Investment: $3,400,000 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which began in 2017 and ended in 2020, supported the upgrade of the NorSask Forest Products facility. The investment aims to ensure that NorSask Forest Products Inc. remains a significant employer and economic contributor in the nine First Nations communities represented in Meadow Lake Tribal Council.
From 2017 to 2018, our investment supported an assessment of the NorSask Forest Products site regarding an upgrade of the complex to decrease manufacturing costs, improve product quality and reduce fibre waste.
Our 2019 investment of $3 million will enhance efficiency and reduce energy consumption while sustaining hundreds of jobs and driving economic growth in the region.
Read more about our investments to enhance safety, capacity and production efficiencies and modernize with upgrades and innovative technologies at the NorSask Forest Products facility.
Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Incorporated
Location: Eel Ground, New Brunswick
Investment: $40,000 (IFI)
Between 2018 and 2019, this project helped Mi’gmawe’I Tplu’taqnn Incorporated launch a sustainable forestry strategy for its nine member communities. The strategy assesses and identifies manufacturing options and opportunities in the local forest sector.
Read more about our investment in Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Incorporated’s forest strategy project.
Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Investment: $50,000 (IFI)
This 2018 investment in 2018 supported the search for a solution to address the lack of local seeds used in restoring lands impacted by mining activities in the Yukon. The project used traditional knowledge and practices, as well as input from trained community members on the best methods for the collection, transportation, cleaning and sorting of seeds.
Read more about our investment in the Yukon Seeds - Phase 1 project.
Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum
Location: Chapleau, Ontario
Investment: $742,794 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment, which began in 2011 and ended in 2018, supported a variety of economic development initiatives in the forest sector including the development of a Conservation Economy Strategy by the Chapleau Cree First Nation. The strategy is a means for the community to capitalize on unique forest sector opportunities, demonstrate alternative economic activities that can run parallel to traditional forestry practices and create employment and partnerships in the forestry, mining and energy sectors.
Read more about our investment in the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum’s forest sector opportunities project.
Nu Ch’anie Society
Location: Cold Lake, Alberta
Investment: $110,000 (IFI)
This 2018 to 2020 investment, helped Cold Lake First Nations to pursue business development activities in various emerging market opportunities across the forest sector with the goal of creating revenue and employment. The focus of this project included market-based research, fibre supply definition and cost-benefit analysis of various emerging market and value-added forest sector opportunities that can be integrated into a full forestry business strategy.
Read more about our investment in the Cold Lake First Nations Forestry Resource Opportunity Development Project
Rat River Development Corporation
Location: Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories
Investment: $229,000 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment from 2018 to 2020 supported the Rat River Development Corporation in conducting a feasibility study. This study investigated the integration of a biomass boiler into the existing Northwest Territories Power Corp., which connects 14 community buildings. The Rat River Development Corporation is exploring and developing opportunities for forest-based economic development including harvesting, sawmilling and bioenergy.
Read more about our investment in the Tetlit Zheh Forestry and Bioenergy Project.
Teslin Tlingit Council
Location: Teslin, Yukon
Investment: $595,000 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2016 and ended in 2019, laid the foundation for the implementation of biomass wood chip boilers to help the community reduce its reliance on expensive, non-renewable heating fuels. The project also generated training, employment and income for the community due to the installation and maintenance of the heating systems.
Read more about our investment in the Teslin Tlingit Council’s bioheat project.
Timiskaming First Nation
Location: Timiskaming, Quebec
Investment: $292,000 (IFI
This ongoing project focuses on launching competitive Indigenous-owned businesses to gather, process and market 25+ types of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) including wild mushrooms, Labrador tea and highbush cranberries.
The emphasis of this project is on Indigenous communities building competitive business models using traditional knowledge of the forest ecosystems within their traditional territories. Early investments supported economic studies and opportunity mapping for NTFPs across 120,000 km2. The allocation of the funding progressed over the years to focus on market analysis, business planning and the establishment of an Indigenous-owned business that created employment for community members to provide sustainably harvested Indigenous foods.
Read more about our investment in Timiskaming First Nation's study to sell wild foods and medicine foraged from the boreal forest using traditional knowledge.
Tobique First Nation
Location: Tobique, New Brunswick
Investment: $255,000 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2017 and ended in 2019, supported a forest-based community business to create long-term employment opportunities and increase revenues. Phase 1 of the project supported a detailed analysis of manufacturing options, which later led to the purchase of a sawmill. Phase 2 created standard operating procedures, training and management succession planning for the mill.
Read more about our investment in the Tobique First Nation’s sawmill training and transition initiative.
Tsay Keh Dene Nation
Location: Prince George, British Columbia
Investment: $25,000 (IFI)
Between 2017 and 2018, this project examined the financial, environmental and social components that must be assessed prior to the construction of a combined heat and power (cogeneration) plant to for reducing reliance on expensive diesel fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more about our investment in the Tsay Keh Dene’s biomass energy project.
Tzah Tez Tlee Development Corporation
Location: Fort Babine, British Columbia
Investment: $50,000 (IFI and SPI)
This 2018 to 2019 investment, supported an assessment of a biomass heating system using waste fibre and biomass from the Corporation’s sawmill. This system would serve public buildings and residences, as well as displace expensive heating costs and reduce greenhouse gases.
Read more about our investment in the Tzah Tez Tlee Development Corporation’s feasibility study on a biomass-heating project.
Location: Waswanipi, Quebec
Investment: $30,000 (IFI)
In 2018, this investment supported an Indigenous-led business focused on the production and distribution of wild plant and fruit jellies, syrup and coulis picked sustainably in Northern Quebec forests. The project supported business planning, training and laying the foundation for expansion.
Read more about our investment in Ungava Gourmande’s production of edibles from Northern Quebec project.
Whitesand First Nation
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Investment: $1,116,000 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment, which occurred from 2011 to 2018, explored the sustainable use of local forests including new management practices, capacity building, innovative methods and laying the groundwork for green energy production.
Wiikwemkoong First Nation
Location: Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Ontario
Investment: $155,280 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which began in 2020 and ends in 2022, supports Wiikwemkoong Department of Lands & Natural Resources in expanding its Forest Resource Inventory business through the purchasing of equipment, training community members and analyzing data.
This project also includes business planning to increase competitiveness in bidding on forest sector and government procurement contracts.
Read more about our investment in the Wiikwemkoong Forest Project.
Wikwemikong Development Commission
Location: Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Ontario
Investment: $260,000 (IFI and SPI)
This investment, which started in 2017 and ended in 2019, supported the planning for a biomass pellet facility that would use underutilized wood-fibre, thus expanding the community’s economic base in the forest sector.
Read more about our investment in Wikwemikong Development Commission’s biomass pellet facility project.
Witset First Nation Band
Location: Moricetown, British Columbia
Investment: $64,629 (IFI)
This 2018 to 2019 investment supported the Kyahwood Forest Products finger joint mill in implementing capital upgrades and training. Upgrades to the mill operations will add an additional revenue stream and create jobs for community members.
Read more about our investment in the Kyahwood Forest Products capital project.
Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation
Location: Birch River, Manitoba
Investment: $50,500 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2018 and ended in 2020, provided funding for the development of a twenty-year forest management plan, which will support new business opportunities and train workers. This investment enabled the community to conduct a feasibility study as well as develop a business plan for a logging operation and other forest development activities including land-use planning, forestry practices, long-term forestry planning and reforestation.
Read more about our investment in the Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation to pursue new business opportunities and provide training to workers.
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Investment: $1,432,000 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2016 and ends in 2021, supports biomass projects in the Yukon by helping Indigenous communities determine locally sourced bioenergy solutions. The investment aims to increase Indigenous participation in the forest sector, displace diesel for heat and energy as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more about our investment in biomass projects in the Yukon.
Location: Hanceville, British Columbia
Investment: $173,500 (IFI)
From 2016 to 2018, this investment supported the business planning and employee training of an Indigenous-owned milling operation, to enable the community to take advantage of new opportunities in the forest sector.
Read more about our investment in the Yunesit’in Government’s value-added wood products business start-up project.
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