Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation, Stuwix Resources and Aspen Planers Announce Alliance Agreement
February 20, 2018. MERRITT, British Columbia. ——
Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation (LNIBDC), Stuwix Resources Ltd. (Stuwix), and Aspen Planers Ltd. (Aspen) are pleased to announce that they have signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding Agreement that sets out a framework for negotiating business agreements related to the parties’ timber and sawmill interests in the Nicola Valley region of BC.

The agreement is a formal commitment between the LNIBDC, Stuwix and Aspen to identify and pursue new economic opportunities and commercial investments, as well as to establish a collaborative forest management planning and operations process for various regional timber interests. Harnessing the local expertise in the communities to create more employment opportunities is the cornerstone of this new alliance. As both LNIBDC and Stuwix understand the importance of Aspen’s sawmilling operations to Merritt and the area’s First Nations, this new partnership will provide Aspen additional timber supply needed to maintain their operations while enabling the First Nations community to support its own economic development.

Chief Aaron Sumexheltza, who is also the Chair of the LNIDC, stated, “We want to ensure the generations to come will benefit from sustainable jobs and economic opportunities. We rely on the forest products industry to help create wealth and to sustain our community’s growth. Our partnership with Aspen will realize many opportunities for our contractors, members and our nation that will benefit us now and in the long term.” He added, “This agreement is important to the Lower Nicola Band because it not only supports our environmental goals, but our social and economic goals for the region as well.”

“By working together to explore mutually beneficial opportunities, we are embarking on a path that is good for both business and our communities, which is one of our core principles,” said
Aspen’s CEO Surinder Ghog. “Aspen has long been proactive in working closely with First Nations that lie within or near our timber supply areas to provide important economic opportunities, and our alliance with LNIBDC and Stuwix is another key step towards securing a long-term future for our business in the Nicola Valley.” Ghog continued, “This agreement underscores the commitment of Aspen and its First Nations communities to work together to create regional employment and economic opportunities.”
This newly-minted partnership seeks to realize the maximum value of forest licences by utilizing Stuwix’s and Aspen’s expertise in forest management, which includes integrating First Nations principles and values throughout the regional timber supply areas.

About Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation:
LNIB Development Corporation is the corporate entity of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. Chief Aaron Sumexheltza is the chair of the board and is accompanied by five Board of Directors. The goal is to create wealth and prosperity for band members as well as the local economy and businesses. While being committed to the stewardship of community resources in a manner that provides lasting value for future generations. Through partnerships and joint ventures, LNIBDC is changing the future of our people in a positive way.
Contact: Chief Aaron Sumexheltza: 250-315-7563

About Stuwix Resources Ltd.:
Stuwix Resources Ltd. (Stuwix), established in 1999, is a forest management company in the Merritt area that is wholly owned by eight First Nation Bands (including Lower Nicola Indian Band) and is located within the Nlaka’pamux and Syilx territories. Stuwix is First Nations managed and has invested in developing First Nations capacity in planning, developing, marketing, timber-harvesting, road-building and silviculture activities on various regional forest licenses. In 2011 Stuwix attained forest certification under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards.Contact: Lennard Joe: 250-315-8486

About Aspen Planers Ltd.:
Aspen Planers is a privately held British Columbia forestry company with three principal business segments; round-wood, lumber and overlaid concrete forming plywood. Aspen’s business is the management of forest lands, harvesting of timber and the manufacture and sale of
round-wood, lumber and plywood products, primarily for North American, Asian and European markets. Aspen’s sawmills and panel plants also generate wood chips sold externally for pulp production, and other residual products used in finger joint lumber plants, biomass power plants, and wood pellets.
Contact: Bruce Rose: 604-377-1423