Award to Recognize Indigenous Leadership in the Forest Industry
OTTAWA, June 13, 2011
OTTAWA, June 13, 2011 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) today announced that
nominations are open for a joint FPAC-AFN Business Leadership Award.
The award recognizes and celebrates First Nations entrepreneurs for
their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business
leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance and the
delivery of high-quality products and services. The recipient must also
demonstrate a strong, long-term commitment to the Indigenous community,
particularly in supporting Indigenous employment.
"This award will be given to an aboriginal business that shows
excellence and creativity in pursing the economic goals of the forestry
sector," said Avrim Lazar, the President and CEO of FPAC. "Together
with the AFN, we're pursuing our common economic interests, and also
ensuring that our shared values in human development, social
development and environmental excellence are reflected in everything we
do," he said.
FPAC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding under the AFN's Corporate
Challenge to see First Nations and forest industry leaders working
together to strengthen Canada's forest product sector through economic
development initiatives and business investments. The goal is also to
promote strong environmental stewardship practices and the creation of
skills development targeted to First Nations youth.
"This award recognizes the effort of entrepreneurs to keep First
Nations' communities strong and growing. It also underscores the
importance of First Nations in shaping the future of a vibrant Canadian
forest industry consistent with our values of respect, responsibility
and sustainability," said National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo.
There are now approximately 1,400 Aboriginal owned businesses in Canada,
and about 17,000 Aboriginal people working in the sector, making the
forest products industry the largest employer for First Nations
This is the second time the award will be given. The first recipient
was Grace Esquega, the President of Niigaani Enterprises in Gull Bay,
Ontario. Award nominees are judged against six criteria; Business
Leadership, Longevity, Employment of Aboriginal Peoples, Safe and
Environmental Performance, Consistency of Goods and Services Provided
and Commitment to Aboriginal Community.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers
nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental
affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2%
of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in
hundreds of communities and providing 240,000 direct jobs across the