Huu-ay-aht First Nations and United Steelworkers, Local 1-1937 Commit to Advancing Reconciliation and Job Creation on TFL 44
TFL 44 Limited Partnership Announces Ratification of Timberlands Contracts and Return to Work for TFL 44 Limited Partnership – Click here for full story.
TFL 44 Limited Partnership Holds First Board of Directors Meeting Advancing Vision of Stronger Forest Sector in Alberni Valley
May 16, 2019 – Port Alberni, British Columbia – The newly formed TFL 44 Limited Partnership, a partnership between Huu-ay-aht First Nations (“Huu-ay-aht”) and Western Forest Products Inc. (“Western”), held their first Board of Directors (the “Board”) meeting today. Aligned with their goal of providing more long-term sustainability for the forest sector and the region, the Board took a number of positive steps forward to execute on several key terms of their partnership agreement.
The Board approved moving forward with a manufacturing study to evaluate the fibre supply in the Alberni Valley, including TFL 44 Limited Partnership and Huu-ay-aht lands and crown tenures. This was a key component of the TFL 44 transaction, which closed in March of this year, whereby the Huu-ay-aht acquired a 7% interest in TFL 44. The study will include a market assessment for potential wood products from the fibre produced in the Alberni Valley.
The study will be conducted by third parties, with results expected in the fall. TFL 44 Limited Partnership will look to engage with the local community, government, the United Steelworkers (“USW”) and area First Nations on the results of the assessment.
In addition, the Board reaffirmed their commitment for TFL 44 Limited Partnership to ensure big trees in TFL 44 are protected by following a standard that utilizes the measurements maintained by the independent board that oversees the provincial Big Tree Registry housed at the University of British Columbia.
Western completes sale of ownership interest in TFL 44 to Huu-ay-aht
Media release from March 29, 2019
Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership (“HVLP”), a limited partnership beneficially owned by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (“Huu-ay-aht”), and Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western”) announced today the completion of HVLP’s acquisition from Western of a 7% interest in the newly formed TFL 44 Limited Partnership.
“The transaction is a positive step for Western, for Huu-ay-aht and for the Alberni Valley,” said Don Demens, Western’s President and CEO. “This new partnership will directly increase First Nations participation in the forestry sector, while creating greater stability for our business, our customers, and our employees.”
A community celebration and official signing ceremony was held on Huu-ay-aht traditional territory in Anacla to mark the milestone. Both parties signed papers representing their commitment to the new partnership and sealed them with a traditional Huu-ay-aht cedar bark wax seal.
Videos and materials from the March 29, 2019 news conference and celebration
Many congratulations and messages of support were shared with Huu-ay-aht and Western on the closing of the agreement. See below for the videos, letters and statements from federal, provincial and local government officials:
- Video statement from BC Premier John Horgan
- Letter from Member of Parliament for Courtenay—Alberni, Gord Johns
- Letter from the Honourable Doug Donaldson, BC Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
- Letter from the Honourable Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Mid-Island
- Statement from Mayor of Port Alberni Sharie Minions