President Chartier and Assembly of First Nations Forestry Council member Chief Bill Williams met with Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr during the conference of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) in Ottawa from September 13 to 15. They discussed a number of issues including wildland fire, softwood lumber, bioenergy to reduce diesel in rural and remote communities, workforce development and opportunities for more robust Indigenous inclusion in federal, provincial and territorial fora such as the CCFM.
President Chartier and Chief Williams also discussed opportunities to support the management of caribou habitat with federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers. This interaction informed Ministerial discussions to proceed with work to protect and recover caribou through the Species at Risk Act and the development of a new National Caribou Knowledge Consortium that will provide a pan-Canadian mechanism for players to share knowledge.
These discussions build on the approach taken with First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit national representatives at the August 14-15 Energy and Mines Ministerial Conference in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick.
According to President Chartier :”Forestry issues are of paramount importance to Métis Nation communities in western Canada. We are impacted heavily by resource development, climate change, emergency and wildlife management. We have to participate in the development of policy in these areas to secure our livelihoods and well-being, and we have much to contribute if these policies are to be successfully applied. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with federal, provincial and territorial governments in shaping these policies that can contribute to responsible and sustainable development.”