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MOU with Gilbert Smith Forest Products will strengthen Secwepemc value-added supply chain

Barriere mill partners with Adams Lake Indian Band and Woodstone Specialties out of Armstrong
Pictured at the signing of an MOU that establishes a framework for the three signing parties to identify opportunities for cooperation, joint ventures and shared decision making within the North Thompson and Interior of British Columbia. Picturted (l-r) are Hal Hanlon Woodtone Specialties (WSI) , Chief Lynn Kenoras Adams Lake Indian Band (ALIB), and Greg Smith, RPF, President of Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd. (GSFP) in Barriere. (GSFP photo)

The Adams Lake Indian Band (ALIB), Gilbert Smith Forest Products (GSFP) of Barriere, and Woodtone Specialties (WSI) of Armstrong have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three parties.

“The agreement between ALIB, a primary lumber manufacturer in GSFP, and a secondary remanufacturer in WSI will reinforce existing relationships and guide work going forward to achieve mutual objectives,” advised a press release from GSFP, “The three party’ objectives include increased development of regional and local economies, supporting ongoing forest management and manufacturing/remanufacturing work, sustainable utilization and management of the environment and its natural resources, and exploring ongoing opportunities for future development.”

The MOU has established a framework for the three parties whereby they can identify opportunities for cooperation, joint ventures and shared decision making.

“We are very proud of this agreement, especially as it will lead to the strengthening of our rural and Indigenous communities, a value GSFP has always been committed to,” said Greg Smith, RPF, president of Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd., “This collaboration represents the ideal forest-to-finished product business model and executes the partners’ shared vision for the future of forestry in British Columbia.”

This three-way relationship will promote fibre security, value-added manufacturing, and long-term local employment, and commits to a supply chain linkage from the forest through to high value finished products that are produced exclusively on Secwepemc territory in the interior of B.C.

“The intent is to create a direct relationship between Indigenous Forest tenures, a primary manufacturer, and a major value-added wood products manufacturer that all operate within 200 km of each other,” said the release.

“The Adams Lake Indian Band is pleased to sign this agreement and looks forward to building a strong partnership with Woodtone and Gilbert Smith leading to long-term full-time opportunities for our membership and our corporations,” said Chief Lynn Kenoras.

All three of the partners say they are pleased to be elkstwecw (working together) and are committed to a long-standing relationship built on trust and respect.

“This agreement is extremely exciting for Woodtone from a strategic business perspective and even more exciting, is the opportunity for our company to become a meaningful partner in the First Nations reconciliation process,” said Hal Hanlon (WSI).


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