Saskatchewan’s Forest Sector: Future Skills for an Indigenous-Led Revitalization

The Conference Board of Canada, 28 pages, November 30, 2021
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The forest sector in northern Saskatchewan must contend with labour shortages, skills gaps, and the desire by Indigenous communities to expand the sector toward renewable and alternative forest products.

Document Highlights

Indigenous communities have built considerable economic power in Saskatchewan’s forest sector by supporting targeted training for community members throughout the forest value chain. Sustaining that power will require more Indigenous people working in positions across the sector, including higher-skilled occupations.

However, many younger workers are not interested in entering the industry, and recent technological advances in forestry have made access to higher-level training even more essential. Indigenous communities also feel ambivalent about conventional forestry’s effects on the environment and traditional lifestyles. Incorporating alternative and regenerative forest products is one potential solution.

To address all of these issues, the various players in northern Saskatchewan’s skills development ecosystem, including education providers, governments, industry and learners, must coordinate among themselves to craft the training opportunities needed to bring the sector into the future.

Table of Contents

Lessons Learned
Diverse Potential in the Forest Sector
Northern Skills Development Ecosystems
Saskatchewan’s Boreal Forest Spans Two Regions
Uncertainty in Saskatchewan Forestry
Indigenous Leadership Can Sustain Revitalization
Many Players in Northern Saskatchewan’s Skills Development Ecosystem
Lessons for Building the Indigenous Forestry Workforce

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—Building Skills in Northern Saskatchewan: The Ecosystem

Appendix C—Indigenous Participation in Forestry Occupations

Appendix D—Bibliography

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