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Fireweed Harvesters

Indigenous Participation

Boreal Heartland is a division of the Keewatin Community Development Association (KCDA), a northern Saskatchewan economic and career development agency. A majority of KCDA’s Board members are northerners.

We have formed an advisory committee of northern Indigenous people to advise on traditional perspectives regarding harvest of forest plants. The committee is: Eleanor Hegland, Lac La Ronge Indian Band; Harold Johnson, Montreal Lake Cree Nation; Nap Gardiner, Sakitawak Metis; and Charlie Cook, Lac La Ronge Indian Band. The committee makes recommendations and instructs us on harvest quantities and methods.

Boreal Heartland also recognizes the traditional Indigenous knowledge of the plants we are using, and the traditional lands from which our product is harvested. We do this through our policy of paying 5% extra for harvesters who are First Nation or Metis.

We engage the local residents in the harvest of our products. 90% of our harvesters are Indigenous, and many of these people harvest plants from their traditional traplines.