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The Manitoba case study provides an example of ILM where the main policy driver is First Nations’ forestry. With our existing partners, Natural Resources Canada (Canadian Forest Service) and Manitoba Conservation, we will study the evolution of the Southern Hardwood Development Project (SHDP) in Manitoba’s east side forests. In this case study, the goal of the Manitoba government – to expand the provincial forest industry through aboriginal participation – is constrained by a series of historic policy legacies involving treaty and other aboriginal rights as well as historically low levels of involvement from First Nations in resource development. The new policy direction depends on successfully combining current policies and future policy developments into a coherent and integrated framework.

Since the initial discussions with our federal and provincial government partners, progress with the SHDP has gone ahead on the ground with the announcement that the industry lead will be taken by Ainsworth Lumber. Ainsworth has committed to building a engineered wood products facility that will run on chips from wood harvested by a consortium of 13 First Nations operating a forest management licence on provincial Crown land.

In the first year of the grant, the research team is committed to developing links with the First Nations involved and with Ainsworth. In the second year of the project, the team will be on the ground looking at the lessons learned from the interaction of the SHDP with the existing regulatory and approvals process – including the involvement of the Clean Environment Commission – and assessing any proposed changes that are intended to improve integration between and across all levels of government.

The Manitoba project team will be led by project collaborator Dr. Adam Wellstead of the Canadian Forest Service’s Northern Forestry Centre with support from Professor Chris Tollefson and students from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. The ILM project team acknowledges the generous in-kind contribution of staff time and other resources that the Canadian Forest Service has donated to this case study.

Jon Elofson,
Northern Forestry
Centre (Edmonton),
Canadian Forest


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