Labrador Innu sign forest management plan with province

The Innu Nation and the Newfoundland government have signed an agreement to share in the management and development of Labrador's forests.

"This is an important part of realizing our aspirations for self-government," said Innu Nation President Peter Penashue.

"We believe that we have a responsibility for good stewardship of the land." said Penashue. "This agreement will help develop Innu capacity, not only within the forest industry, but in the management of lands and resources."

Penashue signed the deal with Newfoundland Forest Resources Minister Kevin Aylward in St. John's on Wednesday.

Afterwards Aylward said, "The development of the forest industry in Labrador will certainly bring welcome benefits to both the Innu Nation and local communities."

The agreement outlines the following goals:

  • completion of a forest management plan for the Goose Bay area
  • establishment of an interim forest activity committee
  • negotiation of a long-term co-management agreement to define future forest management arrangements

The provincial government is in the process of negotiating a land claims agreement with the Innu Nation.

Aylward says the province is obliged to consult with the Innu on decisions that may impact land and resources subject to the claims.