Investing in Indigenous-Led Forest Economy on Vancouver Island

News release

May 13, 2021                  Campbell River, British Columbia                    Natural Resources Canada

Canada's forest sector is an important source of employment for many Indigenous communities. The Government of Canada is investing in projects to equip them with the tools needed to promote further economic opportunity in the forest sector and within their communities

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $245,000 in funding to Homalco First Nation to grow Homalco Forestry Initiatives, which provides forest management and timber harvesting services within the community’s tradition territory in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. This funding will help with communications and strategic planning, tenure management, contract logging and business planning that will increase employment and revenue opportunities for their community.

Funding from Natural Resources Canada is provided through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) program, which supports Indigenous-led economic development opportunities in Canada’s forest sector. By investing in Indigenous participation in the forest sector, we can advance Indigenous self-determination, close socio-economic gaps and provide greener solutions that tackle climate change and transition toward a low-carbon economy. 

This investment will create employment as well as increased knowledge and economic opportunities for Indigenous participation in the forest sector on their traditional lands. We recognize the value, both economically and spiritually, that the forest sector brings to these communities, and we’re working toward building a stronger Indigenous forest sector.


“Indigenous Peoples are taking economic development into their own hands and succeeding. The Indigenous Forestry Initiative supports Indigenous forestry workers and businesses with new opportunities to expand operations and grow while bringing local benefits to their communities.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

“We are excited to strengthen Homalco’s position in forestry and right size our logging company.  We are looking forward to working with industry stakeholders to increase our tenure, which ultimately provides our Nation with sustainable revenues to ensure Homalco stays competitive in the industry.”

Darren Blaney
Chief, Homalco First Nation

Quick facts

  • Natural Resources Canada is contributing $13 million over three years (2020–2023) to support Indigenous forestry projects across Canada. To date, the IFI has committed approximately $6.8 million to projects, with approximately $6.2 million available for 2021–2023.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations


Ian Cameron
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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