Feds invest $2.1M in Indigenous forestry projects in Alberta
May 21, 2019
By P&PC Staff
The federal government has announced investments of more than $2.1 million in three forestry projects in Alberta that will boost Indigenous jobs in the sector and involvement in climate change prevention activities.
Canada has allocated $1.5 million for Kapawe’no First Nation in Narrows Point near Grouard to design and install a renewable and eco-friendly heating system that will help to reduce the community’s reliance on diesel, cut energy costs and generate jobs for the surrounding communities. The project is funded through the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, facilitating economic development opportunities to reduce the reliance on diesel fuel for heat.
Another $500,000 goes to The Rockies Institute in Canmore, allowing it to collaborate with Indigenous communities to bring together the best available Indigenous and scientific knowledge on fire management. The project will inform innovative practices for local, regional and provincial climate change adaptation. The project is funded through the Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise program, which works with provinces to support private sector and non-government organizations in applying climate change considerations to decision-making and implementing adaptation actions.
The remaining $110,000 is awarded to Nu Ch’anie Society in Cold Lake to pursue business development activities in various emerging market opportunities in the forest sector with the goal of creating revenue and employment. The project is funded through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative, which supports Indigenous-led economic development opportunities in the forest sector.
“Programs such as the Indigenous Forestry Initiative are incredibly important to our society and our membership at Cold Lake First Nations; they provide much needed capacity funding to help us explore business development opportunities aimed to increase the overall economic health of our community” says Gail Muskego, counsellor for Nu Ch’anie Society.
Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s minister of natural resources, made the announcement. “These important projects will help bring together the tools and knowledge necessary for communities to capture opportunities presented by our forest sector while making it more resilient to a changing climate,” he says. “They are great examples of how we are working with Indigenous partners to create good jobs while providing greener solutions that will directly benefit Canadians.”
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