Stellat'en Duchun Forestry
Stellat’en Duchun Forestry and Stellat’en First Nation have worked hard over the past two and a half years to develop a viable and profitable forest service company. The company is able to deliver silviculture, firefighting, and forest stewardship services within the traditional territory. Stellat’en members are being employed to use the knowledge passed down from our ancestors to restore our territories that have been impacted by industrial and other activities in the past.
Starting in 2017, the Firelight Group met with the Board of Directors of Stellat’en Duchun Forestry and with the administration of Stellat’en First Nation to develop a business plan for the company. The initial business plan called for the Band to begin to acquire the necessary assets to support the business including vehicles, equipment, and a headquarters building.
In the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018, the Band undertook contracts with Fraser Lake Sawmills and with the Ministry of Forests to conduct roadside burning and fall and burn for Douglas Fir Beetle. In the summer of 2018, equipment acquired for the business was leased to Nadleh Whut’en to undertake firefighting. Later this equipment was used to support a Stellaquo Emergency Firefighting crew.
In the spring of 2018, Stellat’en First Nation received a standing offer contract from BC Wildfire Service to provide Type III firefighting services within the Vanderhoof Fire Zone. In May of 2019 this crew was deployed on the Lejac Fire. The Band also received funding from the Nechako Kitimaat Development Fund and the Northern Development Initiative Trust to develop a recreational trail network in Stellaquo. The Forestry Crew completed the first phase of this work in the summer of 2019.
Stellat’en Duchun Forestry is now ready to take on the personnel and assets acquired by the Band to provide all types of forest services within the traditional territory and to provide steady employment to members. The company could not have suceeded without the vital assistance of the Firelight Group – especially Carolyn Whittaker and Sarah Reid, Stellat’en Duchun Directors Andrew Casimel, Norman Charlie, Neil Heron, and Ken Luggi as well as Stellat’en employees Sandra Nahornoff, Christine Charlie, and Robert Casimel.