By Alden Barty, MNO Consultation Coordinator

Consultation Committee Meets with Tembec
(Left to right) Denis Ayotte, Area Forester (Tembec); Rob Arnup, (Consultant);
Alden Barty, MNO staff; MNO Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council President,
Kim Powley; PCMNO Region Four Councillor, Ernie Gatien; Eric Bazinet,
Sawmill Supervisor (Tembec).

On August 1, 2012, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Historic Sault Ste. Marie Traditional Territory Consultation Committee travelled to Chapleau, Ontario, to participate in a meeting with Tembec’s forestry staff for the Martel Forest. After introductions, Tembec provided the committee with a tour of the Chapleau sawmill complex including log unloading, debarking and slashing decks; sawmill in-feed decks and saw-lines, including trimmer; edger and stacker operations; and the final process at the planer mill, where the lumber is dressed and packaged. The committee took full advantage of the tour and asked numerous questions during each stop.

The meeting served as an opportunity to bring both parties to the table and discuss forest management practices, future planning for the Martel Forest, the status of the current Forest Management Plan, update on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, and general information related to forest management.

At the end of the day the focus was on establishing the next steps. Both parties agreed that continued communication is an important factor in developing a long term relationship. Tembec and the committee have agreed that the sharing of the Annual Work Schedule (AWS) will take place after the first submission to the Ministry of Natural Resources. The committee will be given the opportunity to review the documentation and provide Tembec with comments that Metis citizens may have concerning the AWS.