A group that represents 30 northern Manitoba First Nations wants to talk with the province about buying a mill that is closing in December.

Tolko Industries says its mill near The Pas will close on Dec. 2, putting 332 employees out of work.

Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc., says the closure will affect many First Nations in the north. She says it will also affect many more jobs in the timber and forestry business in the area.

North Wilson says her group wants to meet with Premier Brian Pallister about First Nation ownership of Tolko’s mill operations, as well as First Nations securing timber volumes in Tolko’s forest licence area.

She says in 1989, the Swampy Cree Tribal Council and MKO talked about a First Nation consortium buying the former ManFor operations at The Pas from the then-Progressive Conservative provincial government.