The success of Resolute’s Thunder Bay (Ontario) sawmill stems from a twenty-year collaboration between Resolute and Fort William First Nation. Located on Fort William First Nation land, the sawmill employs about 200 people, many of whom are Indigenous. It is the first facility in Canada to operate under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Act. During a joint ceremony held earlier this week, Remi G. Lalonde, president and chief executive officer, affirmed our upcoming investment of $17.5 million in the sawmill.
The investment will improve log and lumber handling, as well as kiln and log debarking capacity, increasing the mill’s total capacity by up to 40 million board feet. We will also add a shift at the sawmill, creating 30 new jobs, and additional employment in woodlands operations. In June 2021, alongside the Thunder Bay sawmill investment, we also announced investments of $28 million at our Senneterre (Quebec) sawmill, and $19 million at the Glenwood (Arkansas) and Cross City (Florida) sawmills.
Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins was joined at the ceremony by Resolute executives, including Remi G. Lalonde, as well as Monique Rolf von den Baumen-Clark, Ontario’s deputy minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, and other provincial and regional community leaders. Each acknowledged the value of our longstanding partnership.
“We are proud of our continued collaboration with Resolute. We have worked together on the sawmill for two decades in a true spirit of partnership. We have a strong, mutually beneficial and enduring relationship.” −Peter Collins, chief of the Fort William First Nation
“Our investment at the Fort William First Nation sawmill is aligned with our efforts to improve the competitiveness of the strongest parts of our business across the market cycle. It confirms our company’s commitment to deepen our relationship with Fort William First Nation while driving important socio-economic activity in Northwestern Ontario.” −Remi G. Lalonde, Resolute’s president and chief executive officer
“The Fort William sawmill partnership with Resolute Forest Products is a prime example of what can be achieved when industry and First Nation partners work together. For two decades, this partnership has demonstrated that economic activity and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive, creating meaningful opportunities for families and individuals in the community. Congratulations on 20 successful years and on today’s renewed investment to bring even more high-quality jobs to the Fort William First Nation community.” −Greg Rickford, minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, minister of Indigenous Affairs
Resolute is committed to supporting and maintaining constructive relationships with First Nations and other Indigenous communities in our operating regions in Canada. Our focus is on developing employment and business opportunities of mutual benefit. We have ongoing consultative relationships and business partnerships with close to 40 Indigenous communities and organizations.
We are grateful for the respectful, constructive relationship we have enjoyed with Fort William First Nation over the last two decades. The Thunder Bay sawmill illustrates the importance of working toward greater economic participation of Indigenous peoples and businesses in the forest products sector.
To learn more about Resolute’s partnerships with Indigenous peoples, please visit our website.