The world’s biggest lumber retailer has offered its support to the Crees and will come to Iyiyuuschii to examine logging operations, reports The Montreal Gazette.

“We appreciate your concerns,” Home Depot president Arthur Blank told a Cree delegation he welcomed to the company’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We will look into this to do whatever we can to support you.”

Home Depot also said it would raise the Cree concerns about forestry at an international conference in London held by the Forestry Stewardship Council, a group that investigates the social, environmental and economic impacts of logging.

Home Depot plans to open several new stores, including four in Montreal in the coming year.

During a question period, Johnny Cooper of Waswanipi asked what the company would do about logging in northern Quebec.

When Blank promised his support, shareholders applauded.

“It’s what we came down for,” said Sam Etapp, the Cree forestry coordinator. “It went very well. We believe they’ll really help us.”

The Cree delegation also showed Home Depot executives photos of clear-cut areas.

“It was devastating,” said Suzanne Apple, a Home Depot vice-president. “We are totally committed to looking into this.”

The company has a policy to buy only wood harvested through sustainable practices, starting in 2002.