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  • 11 Feb 2019

    North Vancouver, BC – Feb. 11, 2019 – The BC First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC) is organizing three career fair events, the 2019 BC Forestry Career Fairs, scheduled to be held in Nanaimo, Kamloops and North Vancouver.


    The 2019 BC Forestry Career Fairs are held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in:


    • Nanaimo on Feb. 20th, 2019 at the Coast Bastion Hotel
    • Kamloops on Feb. 27th, 2019 at the Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre
    • North Vancouver on Mar. 12th, 2019 at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier

    While the career fairs are open to all audiences, the focus of the events is on Indigenous Forestry Careers. The goal of these career fairs is to increase Indigenous awareness of forest sector opportunities, as well as increase Indigenous participation as part of the FNFC’s BC First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy.


    The BC First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy has been developed by FNFC as a long-term initiative to increase the participation and success of Indigenous peoples in the BC forest sector training, careers, employment and self-employment – as forestry employees, managers and executive staff, forestry contractors and self-employed entrepreneurs.


    The BC First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy is an FNFC initiative that started in 2015 and involved extensive labour market research, First Nations and stakeholder engagement. The research unveiled a forecast of 11,419 job openings in the BC forest sector by 2028.


    Currently, Indigenous participation represents approximately 5% of the total workforce in BC’s forest industry. The goal of the Workforce Strategy is to double Indigenous employment in the BC forest sector by 2027.


    “This is an opportunity to develop sustainable and meaningful career, employment and business outcomes for Indigenous people in the BC forest sector through collaborative partnerships with forest companies, ASETS, ACCESS and BC A-TEAM. Currently the forest industry is in need of skilled labour.  Jobs in the forest sector present opportunities for Indigenous people to stay and work near their communities.  Training and education are key to increasing Indigenous access to high paying jobs in the forest sector,” says Charlene Higgins, FNFC’s Chief Executive Officer.


    For more information please contact Irma Arkus, Communications Manager | at 778.318.4819 or

  • January 31, 2019 – North Vancouver, BC – We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Charlene Higgins, as the First Nations Forestry Council’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

    Dr. Charlene Higgins brings over 20 years of experience working with First Nations communities and organizations in BC.  She brings a wealth of expertise in provincial, national and international forest policies and practices. Charlene has continuously advocated for the involvement of First Nations in the governance and stewardship of forests lands and resources, and for the recognition and protection of Indigenous knowledge.

    “We had over 50 applicants for the Chief Executive Officer Position. Charlene has worked with  us for over 10 years, and her experience and caliber brings stability to our organization moving forward” said Chief Bill Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors.  “We are very pleased to have her continue to play a key leadership role in our work with communities, implementation of our strategic direction, and the development of a new BC First Nations Forest Strategy that reflects the principles of UNDRIP, and increases the role First Nations play in forest governance and stewardship.”

    “I am honoured to continue my work with FNFC”, said Charlene. “These are exciting times. The government of BC has committed to full implementation of the UNDRIP and to involving First Nations in the development of forest policy, including legislative and regulatory review. I look forward to continuing our work with First Nations’ communities and the Province on the development and implementation of a shared vision for a revitalized BC First Nations Forest Strategy that reflects First Nations values, and increases First Nations participation in the forest sector.”


    For further information, please contact:

    Chief Bill Williams, President of FNFC |

    Dr. Charlene Higgins, CEO of FNFC |


    View this release 

  • 15 Jan 2019

    Photo: International Aboriginal Youth Interns arrive at their first stop in Uganda. The internship offers a wealth of learning and experience in sustainability and forestry. 


    This article is part of our Newsletter Issue 2 | 2018. Download your copy of the full Newsletter Issue 2 here. 

    Our International Aboriginal Youth Internship (IAYI) participants departed from Vancouver on September 18th, 2018 for the Masaka Region in Uganda. 

    The four-month program is designed to teach the participating students about sustainability and forestry in Indigenous communities abroad, which is why the IAYI interns (3 from BC and 1 from Alberta) are getting busy with planting Eucalyptus trees on a local small-scale farm.  

    Learning about the science and the hard work of agroforestry, the students are learning about soil preparation, clearing, and seed planting. 

    This work is done in collaboration with the local Masaka farmers who are teaching the IAYI participants about brush and soil management, but also conservation and sustainability, as well as the demands, management, and planning for small business and farming projects. 

    Our Interns will next learn about tree planting during the rainy season. The rainy seasons starts in November and after this, following the changes in weather, our interns will move from their current location in Mizinga to Tekera. 

    Tekera is the region on Lake Victoria. Also known as Victoria Nyanza, the lake is one of the African Great Lakes that spans over 68,000km and is a large body of water shared with the neighbouring Tanzania and Kenya.  

    Once arriving to Tekera, our interns will learn about farming and will be assisting with planting of pineapples. 

    While learning about planting, agroforestry, and small business entrepreneurship, our interns participate in weekly learning sessions: every Friday, they join classroom settings to discuss what they have learned, but also engage in discussions on Indigenous issues, implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), gender and women’s rights, as well as honing valuable skills such as grant writing. 

    The studies and topics are self-directed, as Interns have to complete weekly community-focused projects that encompass what they do and how it impacts the local communities. 

    Additionally, the students are learning some practical skills, including how to use mapping programs, such as Avenza and ArcGIS, and produce maps from their own data. 

    Our Aboriginal Interns are returning in January 2019. To find out more about the International Aboriginal Youth Internship, please visit Jobs & Training.


  • 15 Jan 2019


    This article is published in our Newsletter Issue 2 - Download your copy here.


    Our Study + Work Forestry Scholarship Program has received numerous inquiries from forestry workers and eager students. Of these, 9 have received the Scholarship funds and that includes 5 brand new entrants into the program and three students who are transferring from diplomas to degrees. Recipients include students from Ulkatchot’en First Nation, Okanagan Indian Band, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem, Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nations, Siska Indian Band, and Lytton First Nation. 

    Our Study + Work Forestry Scholarship Program recipients are supported in programs held in numerous BC institutions, including Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merrit, BCIT, UNBC, and TRU, and all of the students will be working during the 2019 summer term with the BC Timber Sales (BCTS). 

    The summer work positions entail one-on-one mentorship for students, as well as experience working in Silviculture, Planning and Operations that take place across the province. 

    Many of these students have been encouraged to apply with the help of the Aboriginal Skills Employment and Training Strategy (ASETS) counselors, a very important partner program and a resource. 

    As we look to the 2019 intake, we are hoping to double the number of students participating in our program. To find out more about the Study + Work Scholarship Forestry Program, please visit our Jobs & Training