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Sept. 14, 2018 – The federal government is funding Indigenous forestry jobs in Saskatchewan.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, announced $400,000 for the Meadow Lake Tribal Council to sustain over 400 jobs near its NorSask Forest Products facility in Meadow Lake, Sask.

"Indigenous-led businesses and job creation are crucial to the Canadian, Saskatchewan and Meadow Lake economies," Sohi said. "[The] investment in the NorSask sawmill will help ensure operations stay strong while building greener, more efficient solutions for manufacturing."

Funded through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI), part of the Government of Canada’s Softwood Lumber Action Plan, the contributions will support Meadow Lake Tribal Council in its efforts to enhance safety, capacity and production efficiencies.

Larry Iron, Vice Chief of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) said the funding received by the MLTC is a strong statement of support by the federal government for forest-based economic development among Indigenous communities.

"The financial support provided by NRCAN undergirds 30 years of MLTC ownership, investment, employment opportunity and growth in the forest product manufacturing sector in northwest Saskatchewan," Iron said. "Through this kind of affirmative action, the federal government demonstrates its commitment to ensuring ongoing and sustained participation of Indigenous communities in forestry-based economic opportunities."

According to a release, this project represents the first component of a larger initiative, also supported by Indigenous Services Canada, with the goal to improve on product quality and reduce manufacturing costs and fibre waste.

The IFI provides funding to support Indigenous-led economic development in Canada’s forest sector. The funding aims to increase Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance.

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