CNW- Canada’s forest sector continues to play a key role in our economy and our efforts to address climate change.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources (NRCan), announced over $669,000 in funding for two forestry projects for Kitselas First Nation to position the community to pursue new business opportunities, provide training to workers and lay the foundation for future economic development.

The first investment of $600,000 enables Kitselas First Nation to pursue business development activities related to land reclamation and other restoration opportunities, including environmental monitoring services that could manage the impact of development activities on the land by reducing the carbon footprint and returning the landscape to a healthy ecosystem.

The second investment of $69,443 is for launching a feasibility study on biomass combined heat and power energy systems using local wood residues to reduce the community’s reliance on diesel and help it transition to a low-carbon economy.

Both projects are co-funded by NRCan’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) and Indigenous Services Strategic Partnerships Initiative, which offer opportunities to Indigenous communities that rely on forest sustainability.

The IFI funding aims to increase Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance.

“Continuous improvement and innovation leads to an increasingly efficient forest sector in Canada. These projects will directly benefit the surrounding communities by creating jobs and providing eco-friendly development solutions,” said The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

“These forestry projects aim to reduce the carbon footprint and promote a healthy ecosystem. Through the federal Strategic Partnership Initiative, Indigenous Services is proud to support Kitselas First Nation’s efforts toward forest sustainability,” said The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services.

Since time immemorial, Kitselas has always taken care of our people. When we look back in history, we acknowledge our toll system that was utilized in the Kitselas Canyon where our Nation created a means of revenue that was shared amongst all Kitselas members. Today, we are continuing to explore opportunities to create revenue for our people through potential energy projects in our traditional territory, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank one of our supporters, Natural Resource Canada,” said Deputy Chief Judy Gerow
Kitselas First Nation.