A 100% First Nations owned, and operated company based in Thunder Bay has yet again received province-wide recognition.
The Agoke Development Corporation (Agoke) was the recipient of the Ontario Forest Sector Champion of the Year Award at the 77th Annual Ontario Forestry Industries Association’s Meeting and Convention. The Northern Ontario forestry enterprise owned by Aroland, Eabametoong and Marten Falls, manages the Ogoki Forest, oversees forest access road maintenance and silviculture programs while protecting culturally sensitive areas and animal habitat.
For 77 years, OFIA has represented forestry companies ranging from multinational corporations, to family-owned businesses that operate across Ontario. For years indigenous groups haven’t participated much in these events due to lack of involvement in forestry, Agoke Development Corporation was recognized for their achievements and contributions during the OFIA event.
Jason Rasevych, Business Advisor, Agoke stated “Receiving the Forest Sector Champion of the Year Award is a major accomplishment for the company. You don’t see a lot of First Nations participation at the OFIA level, so we are blazing a trail. This award is achieved by the willingness of our First Nations and partners to come together for the greater good, to hold a collective vision, and to work hard with the solid determination to succeed.”
Colin Shawinimash, Workforce Development Officer of Agoke and Eabametoong First Nation citizen is thrilled the corporation is being honoured with an award.
“We’re very proud,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point. This wasn’t an overnight success, there have been decades of advocacy, years of work on this file. We’ve re-defined our position in the forest sector and are on the brink of an explosion of employment and business opportunities for our citizens.”
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