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); funding heat and power biomass projects in Indigenous communities.
- 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.
- 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
- Teslin Tlingit Council
- Tobique First Nation
- Tsay Keh Dene Nation
- Tzah Tez Tlee Development Corporation
- Ungava Gourmande
- Whitesand First Nation
- Wikwemikong Development Commission
- Witset First Nation Band
- Yukon Government
- Yunesit’in Government
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 ends in 2020, supports Mi'kmaq participation in the transformation of Nova Scotia's forests by promoting a holistic Mi'kmaw approach to forestry known as Netukulimk; ensuring 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 ends in 2019, supports 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)
During 2017–18, this project supported the training of community members in forest management, environmental monitoring, business development, plus safety and first aid; providing 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 2018–19, investment supported Gitxsan Energy Inc. to build a structure that will house equipment required for a large community bioheat initiative. The larger initiative will displace diesel for heat and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more about our investment in the Skeena Arena bioheat initiative.
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, they launched 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.
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, plus 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: $400,000 (IFI)
In 2017–18, this 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. This investment aimed to ensure that NorSask Forest Products Inc., the largest First Nations-owned sawmill in Canada, remains a significant employer in its region. The profits generated support for economic development, social programs, employment and infrastructure in the nine First Nations communities represented in Meadow Lake Tribal Council.
Read more about our investment in the NorSask site assessment project.
Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Incorporated
Location: Eel Ground, New Brunswick
Investment: $40,000 (IFI)
Between 2018 and 2019, this project will help Mi’gmawe’I Tplu’taqnn Incorporated launch a sustainable forestry strategy for its nine member communities. The strategy will assess and identify 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 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 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.
Teslin Tlingit Council
Location: Teslin, Yukon
Investment: $595,000 (IFI and SPI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2016 and ends in 2019, laid the foundation for the implementation of biomass wood chip boilers that help the community reduce its reliance on expensive, non-renewable heating fuels. The project will also generate 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.
Tobique First Nation
Location: Tobique, New Brunswick
Investment: $255,000 (IFI)
This multi-year investment, which started in 2017 and ends in 2019, supports a forest-based community business to create long-term employment opportunities and increase revenues in the community. Phase one of the project supported a detailed analysis of manufacturing options, which later led to the purchase of a sawmill. Phase two will create 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 reduce 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 investment in 2018–19, supported an assessment of a biomass heating system using waste fiber and biomass from the Corporation’s sawmill. This system would serve public buildings as well as residences, 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.
Wikwemikong Development Commission
Location: Wikwemikong, Ontario
Investment: $260,000 (IFI and SPI)
This investment, which started in 2017 and ends in 2019, supports 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 investment in 2018–19, supported the Kyahwood Forest Products finger joint mill to implement 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.
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, which will 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.