First Nations push for greater share of forestry tenures as policies evolve

The foundations of Canada’s forestry sector are changing as First Nations, strengthened by legal victories and legislation, look for more control of the woods.

A greater share of forestry rights could help open the way to greater economic independence, and is backed by a growing body of case law that affirms treaty rights, land title and duties to consult, said Peggy Smith, a forestry expert at Lakehead University.

“Those laws are having an impact across the country, and I think provincial governments that issue forest licences are much more aware now of the duty to consult and responsibility to engage with First Nations before they make even strategic-level decisions,” Smith said.

 

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