FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Western Forest Products and Tla’amin Nation Take Another Step Toward Meaningful Reconciliation with New Logging Contract
February 15, 2022 – Tla’amin, British Columbia –Western Forest Products Inc. (“Western”) and Tla’amin Nation (“Tla’amin”), today announced Thichum Forest Products LP (“Thichum”), a company beneficially-owned by Tla’amin Nation, has negotiated a timber harvesting services contract in Tree Farm License (TFL) 39 Block 1 managed by Western.
The contract supports the ongoing relationship between the two parties and builds on the Renewal Agreement Western and the Tla’amin Nation signed last July by demonstrating progress in advancing innovative and mutually beneficial activities in the Tla’amin Territory. The incremental harvesting capacity provided by Thichum will also complement existing contractors working in TFL 39 Block 1.
“This harvesting contract is a symbol of the working relationship between Tla’amin and Western and the steps we are taking towards meaningful economic reconciliation within Tla’amin Territory. Establishing this agreement is due to the hard work and commitment from Tla’amin and Western to building relationships between First Nations and tenure holders within their territories,” said Hegus John Hackett. “This agreement is one of many initiatives Western and Tla’amin are working on to start 2022.”
The addition of Thichum to our contracting workforce is an important milestone in our relationship with the Nation. This contract will provide a meaningful contribution to the sustainable management of the TFL and support a strong local economy where everyone benefits,” said Shannon Janzen, Western’s Vice President Partnerships & Sustainability, and Chief Forester.
“This opportunity highlights the value and potential for partnership development between Indigenous governments and private enterprise. It gives the opportunity to have Tla’amin-owned companies operate within the traditional territory and implement their environmental, safety and cultural values,” said Adam Culos, General Manager, Thichum. “It will also allow for Thichum to reinvest economic returns towards the ultimate goal of building capacity, meaningful employment and ownership opportunities within the Nation.”
“Thichum is a welcome addition to our complement of local contractors,” said Ken Mackenzie, Operations Manager for Western. “They share our commitment to the highest safety, environmental and quality standards and practices, and Western is proud to support Thichum’s continued success as an Indigenous-owned and operated forestry business.”
About Thichum Forest Products LP
Thichum, which means “deep into the woods” in ʔayʔaǰuθəm, the Tla’amin language, was established in 2007 and is a subsidiary of Tla’amin Management Services LP. Thichum is a First Nation forestry company that focuses on the quadruple bottom line. Thichum commits to focusing on cultural, environmental, social, and economic values equally.
About Tla’amin Nation
The Tla’amin Nation is a modern, forward-thinking First Nation Government at an exciting point in its history. In April 2016, the community became self-governing through the Modern Treaty Process. The Tla’amin community resides in the qathet Regional District, along Highway 101. The Tla’amin Nation has a rich heritage that stretches back since time immemorial and is guided by its taow (teachings) enshrined in its Constitution and Governance Structure.
About Western Forest Products Inc.
Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.0 billion board feet from seven sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.
For further information, please contact:
Communications Coordinator, Tla’amin Nation
Senior Director, Communications, Western