Port Alberni, British Columbia – October 29, 2021 – Today, TFL 44 Limited Partnership (TFL 44 LP) is pleased to announce that it will change the name for the business to Tsawak-qin Forestry Limited Partnership (pronounced Sa-wa-kin), to be referred to as C̕awak ʔqin Forestry (“C̕awak ʔqin”). It is also announcing the launch of its Witwak Forestry Guardian Pilot Project (“Witwak Guardians”). Both are targeted to be completed by January 1, 2022.
C̕awak ʔqin (Tsawak-qin is the anglicized spelling for legal and informational purposes) means ‘we are one’ in the Nuu-chah-nulth language. It reflects the culture and spirit of the historic limited partnership between Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership (“Huumiis”), a limited partnership beneficially owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations (“Huu-ay-aht”), and Western Forest Products Inc. (“Western”). A change to the name of the business to better reflect the shared values of the partnership has been the intention of both Huu-ay-aht and Western since the formation of TFL 44 LP in March 2019.
The Witwak Guardians project sets the path for a new approach to protection, monitoring, and enhancement of TFL 44 forestry operations. The program’s goal is to bring awareness to all invited land users on traditions and protocols one must adhere to while visiting or working in the TFL 44 tenure area. A Guardian Supervisor, along with three Guardians representing each of Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations, will be appointed.
“Our nations have been stewards of our forests, fisheries, and resources since time immemorial,” says Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Head Hereditary Chief Derek Peters), Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Board Director for TFL 44 LP general partner. “This name change reflects our joint respect for taking care of land for future generations, and to do so guided by our values and three Sacred Principles of ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of), and Hišuk ma c̕awak (Everything is One). The addition of the Witwak Guardian program will continue to ensure all of those living, working, and visiting TFL 44 will continue to adhere to these sacred principles when working or visiting our ḥahahuułi.”
Shannon Janzen, Chair TFL 44 LP Board, and VP Partnerships and Chief Forester at Western, says, “The name change to C̕awak ʔqin (Tsawak-qin) Forestry, and the launch of the Witwak Guardians Program, is another example of how, working together, Huu-ay-aht and Western continue to achieve economic reconciliation and revitalization of the Alberni Valley forestry sector. The strong partnership that has been built, based on Huu-ay-aht’s values and a shared high-standard of stewardship and sustainable land management, truly enables us to continue to move forward as one.”
Huumiis owns a 35 per cent ownership interest in TFL 44 LP, a timberlands business on TFL 44 located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, with Western holding the remaining 65 per cent ownership interest. Subject to Huu-ay-aht People’s Assembly approval and other closing conditions, Huumiis is anticipated to acquire a further 16 per cent ownership interest in the first quarter of 2023, making Huumiis the majority owner of TFL 44 LP.
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About TFL 44 LP
TFL 44 Limited Partnership (TFL 44 LP) was formed in March 2019 under the laws of British Columbia and owns and operates a timberlands business on Tree Farm Licence 44 (TFL 44) on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership (beneficially owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations) owns a 35% equity interest in TFL 44 LP, with Western Forest Products Inc. holding an equity interest of 65%.
About Huu-ay-aht First Nations
Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, formerly called the Nootka. Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally protected self-government as well as ownership, control, and law-making authority over their lands and resources. For more information, visit huuayaht.org.
About Western Forest Products
Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.0 billion board feet from seven sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.
This press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements under the applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by the use of words such as “believe”, “can”, “will”, “anticipated” and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, the timing or anticipate closing of the next stage of the transaction.