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More than 50 forest managers, technicians, academics, lawyers, industry representatives and First Nations chiefs, from across the nation attended a meeting to discuss Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and enhance momentum and recognition of First Nations environmental, cultural, and economic stewardship of their homelands.
“First Nations are key players in the global forest economy with millennia of experience in the successful management of diverse forest homelands. We see this event as a key component in our engagement with First Nations to rigorously apply free, prior and informed consent into FSC’s Forest Management Standard” says Francois Dufresne, President of FSC Canada.
The meeting took place from December 3-5, 2014 in Saskatoon, SK with topics covering ‘FPIC in Law and Policy’; ‘FPIC and Forestry in Context: Past, Present and Future’; ‘Aboriginal Title and Forest Management: The New Reality’ and many more. The meeting also included a field trip to the Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s 1.8 million hectare FSC-certified forest management area and treaty territory, in present day northern Saskatchewan, which is the home of a regional economic engine anchored by NorSask Forest Products’ (100% First Nations owned) lumber mill and bioenergy complex.
“Together with First Nations, Industry, and innovative market certification, truly sustainable forest management is driving environmental, economic, and social performance and investment in Canada’s forests. One of the key messages we want to provide through this meeting is the call for governments, industry partners, and civil society to recognize and support First Nation’s self-sufficiency on the vast Indigenous cultural landscapes which are Canada’s forests.” says Brad Young, Executive Director of the National Aboriginal Forestry Association.
FSC Canada would like to thank sponsors of the event: Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, FSC International, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Mistik Management, TD Financial, and Tembec Forest Products for their generous support in making this event possible.
Copies of the presentations can be found on the National Aboriginal Forestry Association’s website: http://www.nafaforestry.org/conferencePresentations.htm
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