The First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC) understands the importance of silviculture and is excited to be involved in supporting communities through the creation of, or participation in, programs that support the best management of our lands and resources.
FNFC is in its seventh year of operation as a non-profit society supporting all First Nations in their forestry activities. We promote First Nations business opportunities in forestry, and collaborate with government on forestry programs and issues such as tenure, forest for tomorrow program and policy development. The FNFC is known to design programs and policies that align with First Nations and government goals, provide forestry information to First Nations communities, and works to address First Nations forestry priorities.
Current priorities include business development in forestry, health and safety around the MPB infestation and resulting fuel management and, always important to First Nations-health of the lands and resources. Our programs have included understanding the role First Nations are playing in the sector, supporting continued fuel management reduction around communities and interest in being part of the forest sector at both the operations economic development level and at the more senior policy and governance level.
FNFC is currently implementing a training program designed to produce skilled workers and independent contractors that can participate in the forest sector. The First Nations Forestry Training Partnership pilot is a Training Partnership program that we have launched this year, with the support of the Province of BC. The program is designed to train aboriginal people for jobs in the forestry sector, assisting with linking employers with these students and bridging the tremendous labour gap that the forest sector predicts for the coming decade.
Students entering the program will be applying for forest sector related training and they will align themselves with a forest industry sponsor. There are multiple streams for training as the goal is as much in recruitment of forest sector workers as it is in the training. Industry sponsors are supporting the individual with their academic goals and are providing a work term placement.
This type of partnership program is designed to recruit students, to provide solutions for the forest sector labour shortage, to bridge gaps in education and skilled labour, and to build relationships between forest sector business and First Nations communities.
The FNFC is committed to assisting First Nations communities and youth interested in forestry in moving forward and contributing to the best management of our forests – we feel there is a current need for increased silviculture and restoration activities on the land and we hope to assist with the relationships and partnerships that are needed to encourage a collaborative approach to addressing this need.