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Manitoba Government, Seven First Nations Sign Historic Forestry Revenue Sharing Agreements

Press Release

June 23, 2023

The Manitoba government and seven First Nations have signed agreements to share wealth generated by Manitoba’s forests and improve the economic and social well-being of Indigenous communities, Premier Heather Stefanson, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt and Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today in partnership with leadership from the seven First Nations.

“Advancing economic reconciliation in Manitoba means sharing the wealth generated by our natural resources with First Nations,” said Stefanson. “This wealth opens new opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and community development that will build a strong, healthy province for all Manitobans.”

Since launching two-year pilot revenue-sharing agreements for timber dues in 2022, the Manitoba government has signed agreements with Chemawawin Cree Nation, Minegoziibe Anishinabe/Pine Creek First Nation, Mosakahiken Cree Nation, Norway House Cree Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation and Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation.

Through these agreements, the Manitoba government has shared over $3.5 million in timber dues revenue in 2022-23 and combined with grants for capacity development, training, and studies, over $5 million directly supported First Nations as part of a transition to a more inclusive forest sector in 2022-23.

“Many Indigenous communities have traditional territories rich in natural resources but haven’t been able to fully benefit from their economic potential. The process of reconciliation involves addressing this disparity and working towards a more equitable distribution of our natural resource wealth,” said Nesbitt. “Our government is proud to sign these collaborative partnerships to ensure the sustainable development of our forests, support Indigenous-led economic development, and promote self-determination for Indigenous Peoples.”

The Manitoba government is sharing 45 per cent of the dues collected for timber harvested in proximity to each First Nation from Jan. 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024. The pilot agreements allow the Manitoba government and First Nations to test and assess this approach in preparation for longer-term agreements.

An initial round of revenues was shared in January, a historic first for Manitoba, followed by further revenue sharing with signatories later in the winter and spring. The Manitoba government is advancing more pilot agreements to be signed this year, Nesbitt noted.

“Prosperous Indigenous communities are the foundation for reconciliation in Manitoba,” said Clarke. “Our government believes all First Nations should be able to participate meaningfully in the economy and share in the benefits of developing our natural resources.”

Over the past three years, Manitoba’s timber dues averaged $9.5 million, which helps fund critical services and infrastructure for municipalities and First Nations. The Manitoba government will continue to invest in this important sector in 2023-24 as it works to increase Indigenous participation in resource development.

For more information on Manitoba’s forests, visit manitoba.ca/nrnd/forest.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED

Backgrounder
Backgrounder

For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement: newsroom@gov.mb.ca.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-451-7109.

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