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Whitesand First Nation bioeconomy centre receives a boost

By CJ Goater May 15, 2024 | 12:45 PM

Minister Patty Hadju - Acadia Broadcasting File Photo.

Whitesand First Nation is receiving $758,150 to support its new bioeconomy centre.

The funding is coming through FedNor and will support the construction and operation of a biomass-fueled combined heat and power facility, a wood pellet plant, and a wood merchandising yard.

“For too long, the capacity for First Nations to take their own decisions regarding their own economic development has been taken away,” said the Minister responsible for FedNor Patty Hadju. “It will help provide the people of Whitesand First Nation good opportunities and a fair chance at fully participating in the economy.”

In addition to generating electricity, the investment will support the creation of more than ten new jobs.

The bioeconomy centre is community-owned and includes Sagatay Cogeneration Ltd., Sagatay Wood Pellets, and Sagatay Wood Merchandising Yard.

“Whitesand First Nation-owned Sagatay Economic Development and our Bioenergy Centre have a great future, and this project will be a big part of a strong foundation that works with and for our people,” said Chief Lawrence Wanakamik. “FedNor’s support will help make this important economic development possible, and will continue to build a strong workforce in our traditional Homeland. We look forward to continuing to work with businesses, the government of Canada, and other partners in developing our local economy.”

Whitesand First Nation is located roughly 200 km north of Thunder Bay.