Hollow Water Band Members are legally entitled to timber cleared from the Wanipigow Sand Extraction Site for building materials or firewood – but are they going to receive it? NO… probably not…
The Chief and Council of Hollow Water First Nation and their Joint Venture have applied for a Community Use Timber Sales Agreement. It was this Timber Sales Agreement that allowed the First Nation Joint Venture construction company to clear the timber from the proposed Wanipigow Sand Extraction site without an Environment Act license.
Community Use Timber Sales Agreements are intended to provide timber to First Nation community members for personal use as firewood, lumber or as building materials. Theoretically what is supposed to happen is that the Chief and Council administrate the distribution of timber to the community members. However, when Hollow Water Chief and Council were questioned about how individual band members were to access their fair share of timber – no answer was given.
After written communication with the Forestry and Peatlands Branch of Manitoba, it has been determined that the Forestry and Peatlands Branch is under the impression that the Timber for Community Use will be made available to the band members of Hollow Water First Nation. The Community Use Timber Sales Agreement was granted under the impression that Chief and Council were going to allow band members to access the timber for their own personal use as building materials or firewood. However, Chief and Council are not responding to inquiries regarding the Community Use Timber.