Cumberland Wood Products and Prince Albert Pulp announced the signing of a letter of understanding to build a working relationship on Thursday.
“Cumberland House Cree Nation is pleased to acknowledge the working relationship with Prince Albert Pulp and Cumberland Wood Products and their efforts supporting the reopening of the mill in Prince Albert,” Cumberland House Cree Nation Chief Rene Chaboyer said.
“We welcome our partnership in the support of fibre supply and operations that lead to our mutual benefit — guided by an ecosystem management plan for the Saskatchewan River Delta and the sustainable use of its resources.”
Cumberland Wood Products is a business branch of Cumberland House Cree Nation in northeast Saskatchewan. Paper Excellence is a pulp and paper company headquartered in British Columbia that owns Prince Albert Pulp. The company also operates a mill in Meadow Lake and is working to restart its operation in Prince Albert.
“This is a key step in building our relationship with the Cumberland House Cree Nation and we are pleased to be on this path together,’ Paper Excellence vice president for energy and business development Carlo Dal Monte said.
“We are beginning important work with our valued downstream neighbours focused on environmental stewardship and industrial opportunities related to the restart of the Prince Albert mill.”
Dal Monte said the letter signals the company’s desire to continue building relationships with First Nations in Saskatchewan. He called the bilateral understanding “another positive step” toward reopening the Prince Albert mill.
“Growing Indigenous participation in the economy through the growth of Saskatchewan’s natural resource industries and labour market development. Paper Excellence values the support of the Saskatchewan government,” Dal Monte said.
“We are glad that the signing of this Letter of Understanding dovetails so well with Saskatchewan’s growth strategy.”
The Prince Albert facility was granted a softwood fibre allocation of 1,033,564 cubic metres per year by the provincial government earlier this month. Dal Monte said the initiative also supports Saskatchewan’s plan for economic growth.
“This fibre is critical to the restart of the Prince Albert pulp mill which is currently planned for the fall of 2023,” Dal Monte said.
“This decision reflects the Saskatchewan government’s forward thinking and robust job creation ambitions. They have been terrific to work with—taking a real interest in our project and the Prince Albert community.”