First Nations choose SFI
Dec. 23, 2013, Ottawa - Almost one million hectares of forestland at Lake Nipigon Forest have been successfully third party certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard. The forestlands are managed by Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. (LNFMI), who is responsible for planning, reporting and implementing all forest operations.
LNFMI is comprised of four First Nations-owned business trusts in Red Rock, Ontario, including the Animbiigoosagagun Economic Development Trust, the Red Rock First Nation Business Trust, the Papasay Management Corporation and the Biinjtiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek Development Corporation.
The addition of Lake Nipigon's lands brings the total amount of land held or managed by First Nations groups certified to the SFI Standard to 2.75 million hectares (6.8 million acres) involving more than 30 First Nations bands in Canada and the Yakama Tribe in Washington State.
"We are excited Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. has certified their lands to the SFI forest management Standard and have demonstrated their commitment to responsible forest management for current and future generations," said SFI Board member, Chief David Walkem.
"As stewards of the land, it is important for us to respect the forest and what it provides while keeping an eye to ensuring we have continued benefit from the land well into the future," said Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. President, Theresa Nelson. "It is our hope that in achieving this milestone of SFI certification for the Lake Nipigon Forest we will inspire other First Nations communities and organizations to demonstrate their commitment to sustaining the land long-term."
"This has been an incredibly successful year for SFI not only in the amount of land certified, but also in our level of engagement with First Nations people," said SFI President and CEO, Kathy Abusow. "From holding our standard revisions workshops in communities across North America, including seeking direct input from First Nations and Tribes, to establishing an MOU with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we continually seek ways to build meaningful relationships and improve the SFI program."
For more information about the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's work with First Nations groups, visit: http://www.sfiprogram.org/community-conservation/indigenous-communities/