Government of Canada invests in economic and community development in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory

News release

April 3, 2018 - Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, ON - Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting First Nations by investing in infrastructure that will foster economic opportunity and community growth and wellbeing.

Member of Parliament Don Rusnak, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, today announced funding for two separate infrastructure projects in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on the Minister’s behalf, and on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor, and the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

The Government of Canada is providing a total of $705,619 for the planning phase of the community’s future biomass pellet plant. Funding will be used to support engagement, assessment and engineering activities leading up to construction of the plant.

Indigenous Services Canada is also providing $256,000 for the design of the Seven Generations Healing Lodge for the community. The Healing Lodge will serve as an expansion of the Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre, which offers culturally-based addictions treatment and prevention services. The Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation is also providing $100,000 for the project.


“The Government of Canada believes that job creation, access to health services and healing make for healthier, sustainable communities. We understand the importance of cultural and spiritual traditions as the basis for a holistic approach to healing, and are pleased to partner with Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory to support the community with this traditional Healing Lodge.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Our government is committed to providing Indigenous communities and businesses with the tools they need to grow and succeed in a modern economy. This investment will ensure Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory can capitalize on its inherent strength and create business opportunities, middle-class jobs and sustainable economic growth for its members and the entire region.”

The Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Our Government understands the importance of the forest industry and the value it brings to Indigenous communities. This project exemplifies the innovation of  Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in delivering green solutions that will grow the economy and protect our environment.”

The Honourable Jim Carr
Minister of Natural Resources Canada

“We are pleased to have the Government of Canada’s support for these very important projects that will benefit our community and the Forestry sector of northeastern Ontario. The pellet plant will create much-needed jobs and revenue, while the Seven Generations Healing Lodge will be an important addition to the Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre. It will give us the ability to serve more people in need with a wider range of programs based on our cultural teachings and customs.”

Chief Duke Peltier
Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory

Quick facts

  • Indigenous Services Canada is providing $249,905 over two years from the Department’s Community Opportunity Readiness Program. This program addresses the financial needs of First Nation communities in their pursuit of, and participation in, economic opportunities.

  • FedNor is providing $195,714 through its Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP) to support planning for the construction of the pellet plant, including market and environmental assessments, and detailed engineering. The NODP supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.

  • As a strategic investment under the Softwood Lumber Action Plan, Natural Resources Canada is providing $260,000 over two years from the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI). The IFI is a program focused on supporting the economic development of Indigenous communities in all natural resource sectors, including participation in the forest bioeconomy.

  • A Healing Lodge is a residential facility where individuals and families go for spiritual, physical, mental and emotional healing under the guidance and support of Elders and Helpers.

  • Teachings use cultural and spiritual traditions to help address individuals’ afflictions such as inter-generational trauma, sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, addiction, and abandonment/attachment issues.

  • The Seven Generations Healing Lodge will be designed to accommodate 25 to 30 guests, with hotel-like rooms configured for single or double occupancy, as well as for families with children.

  • The building will include meeting and treatment rooms, a sweat lodge and a kitchen and dining room facility. It will be energy-efficient and follow federal and provincial building and fire codes.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services 

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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