Government of Canada investing $758,150 in Indigenous economic development

News release

FedNor funds will help support development of Whitesand First Nation’s bioeconomy centre

May 14, 2024 – Thunder Bay, Ontario 

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North, today announced a FedNor investment of $758,150 in the bioeconomy centre of Whitesand First Nation.

The FedNor funds will support Whitesand First Nation’s new community-owned bioeconomy centre, which includes Sagatay Cogeneration Ltd., Sagatay Wood Pellets, and Sagatay Wood Merchandising Yard. More specifically, the investment will enable the construction and operation of biomass-fueled combined heat and power facility, a wood pellet plant, and a wood merchandising yard.

In addition to generating electricity for Whitesand First Nation and nearby communities, this investment will support the creation of more than ten new jobs while fostering new business opportunities and potential partnerships. These funds will position Whitesand First Nation to better respond to new and existing opportunities and challenges faced by the community, and will support the community in self-determined economic development.


“We’re building an economy that is fair for everyone, including for First Nations. For too long, the capacity for First Nations to take their own decisions regarding their own economic development has been taken away. Through investments in First Nations-led projects like this one, we’re supporting the community’s self-determination. It will help provide the people of Whitesand First Nation good opportunities and a fair chance at fully participating in the economy.”
 – The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister Responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North

“Whitesand First Nation owned Sagatay Economic Development and our Bioenergy Centre have a great future, and this project will be a big part of a strong foundation that works with and for our people. FedNor’s support will help make this important economic development possible, and will continue to build a strong workforce in our traditional Homeland. We look forward to continuing to work with businesses, the government of Canada, and other partners in developing our local economy.”

-       Chief Lawrence Wanakamik, Whitesand First Nation

Quick facts

  • The community of Whitesand First Nation is located approximately 200 km north of Thunder Bay, near Armstrong, Ontario.

  • The funds announced today are provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), through which FedNor invests in projects led by municipalities, First Nations, and other organizations and institutions that support community economic development, diversification, job creation and self-reliant communities in Northern Ontario.

Associated links


Jennifer Kozelj
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Media Relations

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