The Anishinabek Nation announced July 30 that negotiations on a new forestry deal are set to begin with the Ontario government.

The goal is to enable all 42 Anishinabek communities to gain better access to and stronger involvement in forestry development on their territories in Ontario. “Our goal is to be a more active participant in the resource-based economy by solidifying our involvement in the forest industry,” said Grand Chief Council John Beaucage.

The Anishinabek hope to be able to protect and implement their treaty rights to the forest resources, enabling them to have more control over their traditional lands.

It will also be an increased source of revenue. “These negotiations will look at new ways of doing business. The big- business monopolies of the past need to make way to enable small business and community-based opportunities,” said Beaucage.