Canada Invests in Indigenous Participation in the Forest Sector

News release

May 21, 2019—Edmonton, Alberta—Natural Resources Canada

Indigenous communities have the innovation and drive to unlock new jobs in the forestry sector while protecting the environment. That is why Canada is investing in projects to equip Indigenous communities with the tools to build businesses while helping to tackle climate change and mitigate its impacts on the forest sector.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced investments of more than $2.1 million in three forestry projects in Alberta.

These investments are:

  • $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.
  • $500,000 to The Resilience 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.
  • $110,000 for 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.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with industry and the provinces and territories to strengthen the long-term competitiveness of Canada’s natural resources sectors through investments in world-class science and innovation while expanding markets for Canadian products.

The global shift toward a cleaner, greener economy is the opportunity of a lifetime. From May 27 to 29, 2019, Canada will welcome over 25 countries to this year’s Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Ministerial to discuss a future that is cleaner, brighter and more prosperous for generations to come. Canada will showcase its leadership in cleantech innovation, champion the issue of gender equality, youth and Indigenous peoples in clean energy and promote Canada as an investment destination. Learn more at:


“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. 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.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Kapawe’no First Nation is fortunate, and as Caretakers of the Earth we are happy knowing that this benefit we receive and the effort we commit will help educate and provide sustainable clean energy for years to come.”

Chief Frank Halcrow
Kapawe’no First Nation

“Wildfire knows no boundaries. Managing it in the context of climate change will require effective cooperation of people, agencies and organizations — across jurisdictions and across cultures.The Fire with Fire project supported by NRCan is an innovative approach to building connections and to developing our resilience to climate change. By braiding Indigenous and scientific knowledge of fire management, we will mobilize the best available knowledge of fire management to inform innovative practices for local, regional and provincial climate change resilience.”

Laura Lynes, Co-Founder and President
The Resilience Institute

“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.”

Gail Muskego, Counsellor
Nu Ch’anie Society

Associated links


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources