Canada's FedNor invests C$1.7M in First Nation-owned Papasay Value-Added Wood Products sawmill in Northern Ontario; funding will help diversify product line, increase mill’s output, support forest product supply chains and community economic development

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TORONTO , October 14, 2022 (press release) –

Federal funding will support expansion of First Nation community-owned Sawmill, and create three new local jobs

Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek – Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario – FedNor  

Investments in First Nation-owned businesses and industries benefits everyone. These small-to-medium sized businesses create jobs, increase business development, and are economic cornerstones of Northern Ontario.  

Today the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, announced an investment of $1.7 million from FedNor to support the expansion of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek’s existing Papasay Value-Added Wood Products sawmill operation.

FedNor’s support will allow for further site development, including the expansion of existing buildings; new and expanded heat networks and sewer and water installations; the purchase and installation of new equipment, including saws, a molder, and a kiln; the completion of a biomass boiler and processing centre; and comprehensive worker training, including safety and operations instruction.

This important investment will help Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek continue to develop its community economic base by diversifying its product line and increasing the sawmill’s production while also supporting critical forestry product supply chains. The expansion will also help develop four new partnerships with the Municipality of Greenstone, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, and Valard as well support the continued partnership with Resolute Forest Products. The project will create three new jobs and maintain three existing positions.

“When First Nation-owned businesses grow and prosper, so does the entire Northern Ontario region. Today, FedNor is investing $1.7 million to help expand the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek sawmill operation. This expansion will create new local jobs, help purchase new top-of-the-line equipment and improve safety operations. Congratulations to the entire team at BNA for their vision and determination in this success story for the region.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North

“Papasay Value-Added Wood Products (Papasay Sawmill) is a critical economic anchor for our community, and it still has a lot of room for growth. FedNor’s support is helping us to ensure that the Papasay Sawmill can maximize its production, which will help our community meet its ambitious development goals moving forward.”

- Jordan Hatton, Director of Economic Development, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek

Quick facts
The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), which supports projects led by municipalities, First Nations, and other organizations and institutions that promote sustainable community economic development, diversification, job creation, and self-reliant communities.

FedNor’s programs provide financial support to projects that lead to job creation and economic growth, and through which FedNor works with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario.

Papasay Value-Added Wood Products (PVAWP) is part of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek’s (BNA) industrial park in the heart of the Lake Nipigon Forest. PVAWP’s mission includes providing benefits to BNA Band Members including sustainable employment opportunities, industry-specific training and marketable employment skills, and more.

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