Manitoba and Norway House Cree Nation sign memorandum of agreement on cooperative forestry development; chief says agreement is resolution to past controversial harvesting within Norway House Cree Nation’s traditional territory, resource management area

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NORWAY HOUSE CREE NATION , August 3, 2022 (press release) –

The Manitoba government and Norway House Cree Nation have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) setting the stage for many years of collaboration on a number of forestry development initiatives, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt and Norway House Nation Chief Larson Anderson announced here today.

“Our government understands that to advance reconciliation, we must take concrete steps to correct past wrongs,” said Nesbitt. “This agreement is a first step in ensuring First Nations benefit economically from resource development on their ancestral lands and play an active role in resource management that benefits our province as a whole. I see today as the beginning of a renewed relationship between Norway House Cree Nation and the Manitoba, working together to ensure our forests provide the values we have come to depend on, now and into the future.”

“We are pleased to announce that Norway House Cree Nation and the Manitoba government have reached an agreement to work co-operatively to plan, manage and sustainably develop the natural resources in Norway House Cree Nation’s traditional territory and resource management area. This agreement is a resolution to controversial forest harvesting that occurred previously within the area,” said Anderson. “The agreement to replant the forest, define financial contributions, establish a mutually acceptable long-term plan for the sustainable development of the area and outline a package of employment opportunities will allow Norway House Cree Nation to benefit from the resources in its traditional territory. The Manitoba government has agreed to ensure appropriate consultation in future activities and share in the financial benefits of future resource development. Environmental stewardship of our traditional territory is essential for appropriate environmental, social and governance economic activities in northern Manitoba.”

The MOA with Norway House Cree Nation establishes a foundation for many years of collaboration between the Manitoba government and Norway House Cree Nation on forestry and natural resource-related initiatives.

Under the MOA, the Manitoba government has committed to supporting a number of initiatives led by Norway House Cree Nation including:

creating a community-run, multi-year tree plant program that will train and employ youth and community members;
conducting a multiphase traditional land-use study, led by the community, which prioritizes the areas and interests of Norway House Cree Nation;
providing a community allocation of timber for use in Norway House Cree Nation’s sawmills for the purpose of building approximately 500 homes in the community; and
returning up to 45 per cent of revenues collected from timber dues returned to rights holders.
Last year, the Manitoba government allocated more than $1 million toward grants to support key economic development activities including $200,000 to improve the viability of Manitoba’s forest sector by encouraging enhanced Indigenous participation in the forest economy.

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