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Atikamekw Council of Manawan announces forestry accord

April 11, 2024  By Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Photo: Annex Business Media.

The Atikamekw Council of Manawan in Quebec recently signed an agreement with a forestry company that will create a number of new jobs for community members and guarantee the community’s influence over forestry and mining activities going forward.

The agreement, signed last week, will allow the company – called Biomasse du Lac Taureau (BDLT) – to have access to the community’s ancestral unceded territory in an agreement the Atikamekw Council of Manawan says will create an atmosphere of “mutual respect and equitable sharing,” on mining and forestry activities.

Atikamekw council Chief Sipi Flamand said the agreement shows that the Atikamekw Council of Manawan is more than happy to do business with companies who are willing to treat their relationship with respect.

“In addition to establishing a respectful business relationship with BDLT, the agreement demonstrates the willingness of the Atikamekw Council of Manawan to collaborate with forestry companies that operate on our traditional territories if those entities are acting in a respectful manner,” he said. “In the spirit of economic development and respect for the environment, as well as respect for the families of Manawan, it’s great to feel like the Atikamekw Council of Manawan is a serious partner in terms of regional economic development.”


Additionally, the council also announced it had reached a long-term deal with BDLT on the lumber quota reserved annually for the community’s use and sale, which it said will have “positive, long-term effects,” for Manawan.

The community’s quota has been in place since 2013.

The deal will foster expansion of a lumber-conversion plant in the territory, BDLT added.

No figures were yet available on the number of jobs that would be created.

“This agreement shows that Biomasse du Lac Taureau has a willingness to be a responsible partner over the long term,” said BDLT director general Yves Crits. “It shows that responsibility is ingrained in the vision we have for the direction of our business. As an enterprise that conducts forestry activities on traditional Atikamekw territory, it’s essential that we are able to maintain a constructive dialogue in terms of respecting their traditions. This agreement will allow us to maintain factory operations going forward as well as having a positive economic impact on the community.”

Crits singled out two members of the council for special praise.

“I’d like to thank Chief Flamand for his support, as well as the ensemble of people who made this possible. Special mention must also go to Glenn Dube, who is the forestry portfolio lead on council,” Crits added.


Marc Lalonde is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Iori:wase.


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