Western Forest Products (WFP) has sold a share of its Alberni Pacific Division (APD) Sawmill to Huu-ay-aht First Nations.
On Monday, March 16, WFP and Huu-ay-aht reached a $36.2 million agreement whereby Huumiis—a limited partnership owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations—would acquire a majority ownership interest in Tree Farm Licence 44 (TFL 44) Limited Partnership. With this agreement, Huumiis will own 51 percent of TFL 44, while WFP will own the other 49 percent.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations first purchased interest in Western Forest Products back in 2018.
In Monday’s agreement, WFP also transferred its APD Sawmill into a newly formed limited partnership, along with other assets and liabilities. Huumiis will acquire a seven percent ownership interest in this partnership.
“This agreement is an example of how collaboration between First Nations and the private sector can contribute to reconciliation,” said Don Demens, Western’s President and Chief Executive Officer, in a press release.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations head hereditary chief Derek Peters added that it is an important step to gain more control over the traditional territory of the hereditary chiefs.
“This is an historic announcement that is fundamentally about reconciliation and forestry revitalization,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “This agreement will enable Huu-ay-aht to have more jurisdiction over our hahuułi (traditional territory), strengthen the long-term sustainability of the forest sector in the Alberni Region, provide strong environmental stewardship that aligns with Huu-ay-aht’s forestry guiding principles, and create more opportunities for First Nations, including our citizens.”