The Council of the Innu of Pessamit and Resolute signed a collaboration agreement to promote economic development for the First Nation and Resolute’s North Shore operations.
Signed on June 3, 2015 in Pessamit, the agreement, titled, A Balance Between the Protection of Nitassinan and Economic Development, provides mainly for the recruitment, training and hiring of Innu labor. Over the short and medium terms, members of the Pessamit community could benefit from dozens of job opportunities at Resolute operations. The agreement also provides for investment in Innu businesses in the forest, biofuel and wildlife industries.
“We will make sure that the best industrial practices will be used in the removal of resources by all stakeholders,” said Pessamit Innu chief René Simon. “We hope to develop business partnerships with companies that remove natural resources from our ancestral territory, thus encouraging the creation of Innu jobs and businesses.”
Woodlands managed by Resolute in Canada are third-party certified to one of three internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. “The forest certifications also take into account the interests of Native communities,” stated Richard Garneau, Resolute’s president and chief executive officer. “At Resolute, we recognize and respect Native rights to use their lands and resources. That’s why we hope to establish a genuine business partnership with Pessamit, which will not only benefit the local economy, but also ensure a quality wood fibre supply for our North Shore operations, while respecting sustainable development principles.”
Resolute benefits from a timber supply guarantee applicable to the North Shore administrative region. In the event of a spruce budworm epidemic affecting a large portion of the Nitassinan in Pessamit, a harvest would allow for forest renewal, while simultaneously making use of a resource which would otherwise be lost. Current harvest plans also already respect critical woodland caribou habitats through the establishment of large conservation areas for at least 70 years. Pessamit and Resolute will collaborate on implementing appropriate solutions which take into account the needs of woodland caribou, as well as community interests.
For more information, please read the press release.