AMC commends historic partnership between Nekoté and Canadian Kraft Paper

Trees in a forest

July 6, 2018

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, MBGrand Chief Arlen Dumas, on behalf of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), commends a historic partnership that was announced today between Nekoté (a corporation representing seven First Nations) and Canadian Kraft Paper in Manitoba.

Under this 50-50 partnership, Nekoté and Canadian Kraft Paper are forming a new company called Nisokapawino Forestry Management Corporation to co-manage 8.7 million hectares of boreal forest. They will share responsibilities for forest management, maintaining sustainable forestry practices, protecting environmental values, and bolstering strong, local economies.

“I am so pleased about this news today,” stated Grand Chief Dumas. “Canadian Kraft Paper clearly values working with First Nations. This company is showing wisdom and leadership in developing this partnership with our First Nations as we have invaluable traditional knowledge about how to best manage lands and resources. This partnership will provide northern Manitoba First Nations with meaningful participation in forest management and more opportunities for access to meaningful employment.”

Nisokapawino is Cree for “two standing together,” and evokes a meaning that is deeper than partnership. Nisokapawino will operate within a tenure designated as Forest Management Licence 2. It is the largest forest tenure in North America.

“This opportunity has the potential to create a template for how economic and environmental issues will move in the future, in a responsible and effective way, with proper participation of First Nations interests, to the benefit of everyone,” stated Grand Chief Dumas.

Nekoté is comprised of Chemawawin Cree Nation, Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, Misipawistik Cree Nation, Mosakahiken Cree Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, and Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation.

At the time of the sale of the mill, Canadian First Nations and First Nations leadership identified a need for joint participation in decision-making for forest management. Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited is located in The Pas, Manitoba.

The AMC continues to work closely with Manitoba First Nations and business leaders on issues of economic development. AMC acknowledges and thanks the Premier of Manitoba, Brian Pallister, for supporting this initiative and working with all parties to ensure this economic development opportunity came to fruition for these First Nations.