West Fraser’s mills and forest operations often work in partnership with First Nations people in the regions where the Company operates. We seek to maintain respectful, mutually beneficial relationships with our partners and First Nations stakeholders.
As a member of Forest Products Association of Canada we are also dedicated to an industry-wide initiative to increase education, skills development and encourage members of First Nations communities, particularly youth, to consider employment opportunities in the forestry sector. The initiative, called Vision 2020 looks to increase the interest in forestry as a sustainable, challenging career.
Working with First Nations Communities
We recognize that Canada’s First Nations people have a special connection to the land through their culture and historical use and we will respect that connection when undertaking our operations.
In some of the regions where we operate, treaties have been signed between First Nations and the Crown and we respect those treaty arrangements. We also understand that some First Nations people have asserted the continuing existence of aboriginal rights and title over certain lands and resources and that the Crown has recognized duties to First Nations people in these circumstances. We recognize that in the course of carrying out these duties, our operations may be affected from time to time.
We are committed to the health and long-term environmental sustainability of the forests in which we operate. Our operations provide significant economic activity and prosperity to the communities in which we operate, and First Nations people are important members of many of those communities.
We are committed to working with First Nations people in a manner that promotes mutual respect and understanding of each other's interests, values and goals. Through our consultation, planning and forestry operations, we intend to:
- Promote regular communication with First Nations people,
- Support training initiatives and provide First Nations people with equitable access to economic opportunities, including contract work and employment,
- When necessary, engage in conflict resolution processes that are effective, and
- Seek long-term relationships with First Nations people based on goals of mutual economic advancement, understanding and respect.