Canada’s forests have long played an integral role in meeting the cultural, spiritual and material needs of Aboriginal peoples. Encouraging more Aboriginal involvement in the forest sector benefits Canada’s sustainable forest management and helps to build strong Aboriginal communities.
Aboriginal and treaty rights are protected by Canada’s constitution, and this is increasingly reflected in forest policy and forest management practices. Aboriginal involvement in the land is being formally acknowledged through processes that include land claims, treaty making and treaty land entitlement.
About 80% of Aboriginal communities are located in or near forested areas and their participation in forestry is growing.
More than 800 Aboriginal communities are located in Canada’s forests, and about 1.4 million hectares of reserve lands are suitable for resource uses such as forestry, hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering herbs and medical plants.