June 24, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - An agreement for the harvesting of wood from Crown land for domestic purposes has been signed by the Government of New Brunswick and Esgenoopetitj Mi'kmaq First Nation at Burnt Church.
"The right of First Nations to harvest timber on Crown land for domestic purposes has been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada," said Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles. "The Government of New Brunswick respects this right, and is pleased to sign this agreement that will facilitate the harvesting of Crown wood for domestic purposes such as wood for fuel, crafts and lumber for Esgenoopetitj First Nation members to build their own homes."
The government has budgeted $250,000 related to the implementation of harvesting agreements with First Nations in the 2009-10 fiscal year. Stiles said that the money will be used to cover costs related to the administration of domestic use agreements.
Under the agreement, the Esgenoopetitj First Nation will receive $15,000 to administer the domestic harvesting program for its members.
Stiles said that government hopes to sign similar agreements with all 15 First Nations in New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Jones, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, e-mail, email@example.com.