Indigenous Voices

Dean Assinewe, RPF – Sagamok Anishawbek

Dean works with the forest and wood products industry, as well as Indigenous communities, in pursuing forest management and manufacturing opportunities. He is also a mentor with PLT Canada’s #MyGreenMentor program. FPInnovations is a private not-for-profit R&D organization. It specializes in solutions that help grow the Canadian forest sector and its affiliated industries to enhance their global competitiveness.

FPInnovations is a PLT Canada Green Jobs employer.

Thumbnail of A Guide to Green Jobs in Canada cover
Dean’s story is included in A Guide to Green Jobs in Canada: Voices of Indigenous Professionals.

DEAN’S LOVE OF NATURE COMES FROM…

“My father was a big influence. He was a trapper in his youth. We spoke quite a bit about his experience and his spiritual relationship with the land. In our culture, we’re all connected. The animals are our relations. It’s important we have a fundamental respect for them.”

Dean standing in front of logs

DEAN CHOSE A GREEN CAREER BECAUSE…

“Fresh out of high school, I was working in Toronto with a good job at a pharmaceutical company. But I would find myself thinking how much I wanted to go home for a vacation and be outdoors. I also thought about how I grew up and my time in Ontario’s Junior Ranger Program, a program for youth to gain experience in the natural resources sector.”

“It was a huge milestone in my life. I decided to reconnect with the natural resources sector. I first earned a Forest Technician diploma at Sault College and then an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Lakehead University. I’m also a Registered Professional Forester (RPF).”

Dean and partner on John Deere Nortrax

TO DEAN, BEING INDIGENOUS IN A GREEN JOB  MEANS…

“If First Nations can help take a lead in how development happens, Canada and the rest of the world will be better for it. We have to draw careful connections between our environment, our culture and traditions, and how we develop our natural resources. On an individual basis, I can mentor youth who are trying to decide what they want to become. Growing up, we didn’t have many mentors like First Nation foresters. Today, there are more and more!”

Dean also works as a presenter

MORE VOICES

Amy Rose – Saulteaux-Ojibway, Cote First Nation

Amy helps Canfor build positive relationships with Indigenous communities. Canfor is one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp, and paper. Its operations overlap significantly with traditional Indigenous territories. As an SFI-certified company, Canfor recognizes and respects the rights of Indigenous Peoples within its sustainable forest management practices.…

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Clifford Paul – Mi’kmaq, Unama’ki

Clifford Paul is Mi’kmaq from Unama’ki. As the Moose Management Coordinator for the Unama’ki Institue of Natural Resources, he is engaging the Mi’kmaq, provincial, and federal governments to drafting a comprehensive moose management plan, a first of its kind in the region. The Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources is a PLT Canada…

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Devin Hurcombe – Anishinaabe, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg

Devin does preventative maintenance and safety inspections on a cogeneration plant at Resolute Forest Products‘ mill in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The cogeneration plant uses bark and other leftover wood residues to produce heat and power. This helps the company reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Resolute also supports…

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Evan Simon – Mi’kmaq, Unama’ki

Evan’s main role is to support a draft moose management plan in the Cape Breton Highlands and assist with community education and outreach programs. Evan also incorporates Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into research and stewardship activities. Evan works with Clifford Paul, see his profile here. The Unama’ki Institute of Natural…

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