Mi'kmaq people in Nova Scotia now have better opportunities to find work at the Port Hawkesbury paper mill.

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs signed an agreement with Port Hawkesbury Paper earlier this week.

"We are wanting to be part of the development that happens around us you know, around our lands. So we're very happy that the company [Pacific West Commercial Corporation] is very open and willing to continue the work that we've had with the Port Hawkesbury plant,' said Membertou Chief Terry Paul.

Paul said the assembly will work with the mill to plan training opportunities and write both an environmental agreement and a forestry management plan.

Mill manager Marc Dube said employing First Nations people is important to the Port Hawkesbury plant's parent company,  Pacific West.

He said for the first time the mill has a Mi'kmaq representative on its forestry advisory committee.

"It's important because they have certainly a lot of knowledge and they have cultural history in the forests and that'll make our forest management plans better," Dube said.

The mill said Mi'kmaq people make up seven per cent of the province's population, and Pacific West wants at least seven per cent of its workforce to match that.