Whitefeather Forest Initiative

Non-Timber Forest Products

Pikangikum people have a long tradition of harvesting Non-Timber Forest Products for food, medicine and construction of domestic and trade goods.

Vision for Non-Timber Forest Products:
The renewal of the economic value of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for Beekahncheekahmeeng paymahteeseewahch, supported by a rich Indigenous Knowledge tradition concerning the significance and appropriate uses of NTFPs, where the forest, its diversity, cover and resource abundance is maintained over time. NTFPs harvested and processed from the Whitefeather Forest will provide primary economic benefits to Beekahncheekahmeeng paymahteeseewahch and will contribute to the forest economy of Ontario in a manner that respects the northern boreal forest character of the landscape.

Determining New Enterprise Opportunities in
Non-timber Forest Products:

Foods like blueberries, which are abundant in the Whitefeather Forest, have healing powers. They can nourish not only Pikangikum people but also people who live in large cities.

For many years, Elders from Pikangikum such as the late Maggie Black made a good livelihood selling birch bark baskets in Red Lake. The evidence of her harvesting can still be seen in the Whitefeather Forest. There are other members in Pikangikum who can still make birch bark canoes. We believe that many of the tourists who will visit the Whitefeather Forest in the future will be very eager to purchase these value-added NTFP’s.

It is the intention of Pikangikum to harvest and process value-added Non-Timber Forest Products in a way that is rooted in our customary uses of these products and adds the value of these customary uses to the products. The community will consider commercialization of products already produced by the community (e.g. berries, teas, wild rice, leathers and furs) and new products not customarily produced.


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The Whitefeather Forest lies within ancestral lands of the people of Pikangikum First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

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Keeping the Land
A Land Use Strategy for the Whitefeather... Read More »

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