Building a Conservation Economy

The NSRCF regional model had been advanced with the aid of a number of strategic building blocks, including;

  • Traditional Aboriginal values as enshrined in the epistemology of Natural Law;
  • Healing and wellness as prescribed by traditional Aboriginal teachings;
  • Comprehensive community planning that uses the Dalhousie University School of Urban Planning model as a planning framework and the Recreating the World model of community wellness as supporting community value system;
  • Ecotrust Canada’s Conservation Economy blueprint as a framework to optimize the economic benefits derived from resource development while increasing the level of environmental scrutiny;
  • A comprehensive economic development agenda in support of closing the First Nation wage gap;
  • A comprehensive fiscal development agenda in support of closing the First Nation community poverty gap;
  • A comprehensive resource guardianship agenda that promotes the need for First Nations to return to their rightful role as stewards of the land;
  • A centre of excellence approach to building and retaining regional strategic capacity, wherein each community will share its resources with the others on a reciprocal basis; and
  • A regional governance agenda that brings First Nation and municipal leaders together in support of inclusive regional citizen engagement.


Wahkohtowin GP Inc. serves the NSRCF communities in the implementation and advancement of strategic initiatives that collectively encompass the primary strategic objectives of reconciliation through egalitarianism and participatory democracy.

Examples of these strategic initiatives include individual community development strategies for each NSRCF member First Nation; a comprehensive community planning pilot project to be replicated in other communities over time and possibly linked to a supporting regional planning council; the Northeast Superior Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence (NS-ESFL) conceptual business model; the forestry sector resource revenue sharing pilot project, to be expanded upon and replicated in other resource sectors over time; the First Nations Guardianship Program Pilot Project and supporting audit, the regional Conservation Economy blueprint; the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve Ecological Protection Framework and supporting Moose recovery Strategy; the Northeast Superior Regional Mining development agenda; the Northeast Superior Regional Energy Strategy development agenda and several business to business agreements in the forestry, mining and energy sectors.

Redesigning the Forest Economy

In 2014, the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum commissioned two parallel reports from Ecotrust Canada: this one, which provides scenarios for future forest management, and a sister report that assesses the human resource and economic development services available in the region. Together, these reports offer a glimpse of the opportunities that exist to redesign these local and regional economies for triple-bottom-line results, balancing social/cultural, financial, and environmental interests and needs. Read More

Shifting Up

The Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs‘ Forum hosted a strategic learning and consultation gathering at the Chapleau Cree First Nation from March 4 to 7, 2013. The purpose of this gathering was to: a) map out strategic lines of action that are essential to shifting from a planning and preparation stance to one of initial implementation, and b) identify sector-specific research and action strategies that will be incorporated into the initiative going forward as primary implementation pillars. This document summarizes this comprehensive consultation process in the form of moving-forward recommendations. Read More

Community Forestry Framework

Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs’ Forum (NSRCF) Community Forestry Framework Development Process

Over the last eight years, the Chiefs of the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs’ Forum (NSRCF) have been overseeing the advancement of a regional forestry agenda within the Northeast Superior portion of Ontario that has focussed more on building relationships than on developing products (see attached map).1 The process is highlighted by building greater First Nation unity through a return to traditional Aboriginal teachings that includes re-establishing kinships2 and by building mutual respect and trust between the NSRCF member First Nations and adjacent municipalities through a comprehensive cross-cultural awareness process.3

Efforts are also ongoing to strengthen partnerships with area forest companies such as Tembec (Chapleau sawmill) and Rentech (Wawa pellet plant) in support of building a more robust First Nation economic agenda, using government policy commitments as leverage.4 Last but not least, NSRCF efforts are ongoing to develop a better government-to-government relationship with Ontario as prescribed by the Supreme Court of Canada.5 Central to all of this work is the need for area First Nations to become equal partners within Canada’s constitutional fabric and to return to their traditional role as stewards of the land, consistent with Aboriginal theology and prophecy. Read More