Indigenous Voices

Michelle Botham – Anishinaabe, Lac Seul First Nation

Michelle works to ensure that forests are fully regenerated after sustainable harvesting. Every day on the job is something different. On a given day, Michelle might be supervising tree planting, overseeing site preparation, collecting field data, or supervising summer students. She also ensures compliance with forestry regulations. Hme Enterprises works in partnership with Ondaadiziwin Forest Management, which sustainably manages local forests for the benefit of seven generations to come.

Ondaadiziwin Forest Management is an SFI-certified organization and Hme Enterprises is a PLT Canada Green Jobs employer.

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

Dogs are allowed on many work sites as a forester.

MICHELLE’S LOVE OF NATURE COMES FROM…

“As long as I can remember, my family has been fishing, camping, hunting, swimming, hiking—I could list so much more. From a young age, we would walk in the bush and partridge hunt with our slingshots. I still like to go hunting with family. I’m involved with hauling out the animals and preparing them for eating. It’s a family activity.”

MICHELLE CHOSE A CAREER AS A FORESTRY TECHNICIAN BECAUSE…

“I was 42 years old, between jobs and at a turning point in my life. My aunt was working for Obishikokaang Resources Corporation, which manages the Lac Seul Forest about 400 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. My aunt told me about a summer student position. After the summer, I was asked to stay on full time.”

TO MICHELLE, BEING INDIGENOUS IN A GREEN JOB  MEANS…

“I think it’s important for First Nations people to get involved in forestry for our children and for our future. In my compliance role, I help guarantee our traditional values are being considered in forest management. As First Nations, we can take a leadership role and help make a positive change. Now we see a lot more involvement of First Nations in sustainable forestry. We see the green career options. I think this trend will continue and forestry will only become an even more attractive option for young people.” 

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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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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…

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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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