As National Forest Week is celebrated across the country, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is seizing the opportunity to announce the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence program. Today, FPAC announced that Agoke Development Corporation of Thunder Bay, Ontario is the recipient of the Indigenous Business Leadership Award.
The Indigenous Business Leadership Award, presented in partnership with Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), celebrates Indigenous entrepreneurs in the forest products industry who exemplify business leadership through exceptional environmental and safety performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services. The recipient must also demonstrate a long-term commitment to the Indigenous community, particularly in supporting Indigenous employment.
“The forest products sector works in partnership with over 1,400 Indigenous-owned businesses, each of which are critical partners in advancing forest health and economic prosperity in our forestry communities,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “The Indigenous Business Leadership Award provides FPAC and CCAB with the opportunity to highlight the great work being done in these communities and showcase how Indigenous business leaders like Agoke Development Corporation are driving environmental, economic, and social opportunities across the country,” he added.
The Agoke Development Corporation (ADC) is a partnership between three First Nations in the Thunder Bay region of Northern Ontario. The name ‘Agoke’ represents the 3 partner First Nations in the Corporation – the A for Aroland, E for Eabametoong, and Agoke for Marten Falls which is located by Ogoki Post. Growing the local economy, providing employment for Indigenous people and sustainable forest management are three areas of priority to Agoke Development Corporation. Since being incorporated in 2016, the partnership has revitalized the forest sector in their region and greatly improved the participation of local First Nation communities and people in the forest management process.
Lynn Palmer assumed the role of interim General Manager for Agoke Development Limited Partnership in May of 2021. She holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. Forestry degrees and a PhD in Forest Sciences from Lakehead University, and has over twenty-five years of experience doing research, technology transfer, teaching, working on conservation and socio-economic issues related to forests with environmental/non-governmental organizations. She has also worked extensively over the past decade on behalf of First Nations to advance their rights and interests related to their lands and natural resources, notably in relation to their forests. She began working to support the three First Nations that established the Agoke Development Limited Partnership in 2015-16 during her role as Sustainable Forestry Advisor at Four Rivers, the Environmental Services Group of Matawa First Nations Management (Matawa Tribal Council).
“I am honoured to receive FPAC’s 2021 Indigenous Business Leadership Award on behalf of the Agoke Development Limited Partnership,” said Palmer. “I have greatly enjoyed working on a range of forestry initiatives throughout my career and am especially passionate about working to advance the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples related to their forests.”
“Indigenous business is stronger when nations and Industry come together for a common goal,” said Tabatha Bull, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “Agoke Development Corporation is a leading example of what can be accomplished when we work together collectively. CCAB is proud to partner with FPAC and recognize Agoke’s leadership in the forestry sector. Congratulations to Lynn Palmer and Agoke Development Limited Partnership. The long-term jobs and sustainable prosperity created will have lasting impact across in Northern Ontario and beyond.”
To learn more about FPAC’s Awards of Excellence recipients, please visit: https://www.fpac.ca/posts/fpac-awards-of-excellence
About the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $80B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.
About Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s economy. A national, non-partisan association, with a mission to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness. CCAB offers knowledge, resources and programs to its members to foster economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and businesses across Canada. For more information visit www.ccab.com.