October 18, 2023 – Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty has officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tree Canada and Let’s Plant Trees Ltd., to launch a three-year agreement to plant one million trees on Tłı̨chǫ land. This project represents the most ambitious reforestation project ever undertaken in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and encompasses significant employment and capacity-building opportunities.
The MOU to plant one million trees aims to restore vital Boreal Caribou habitat in the region and is an active response by the Tłı̨chǫ Government to the unprecedented forest fires this summer. The project represents a significant opportunity to combat climate change and support ecosystem restoration and economic development through green jobs.
Working with Tree Canada, and Let’s Plant Trees Ltd., the Tłı̨chǫ Government will begin work this fall to harvest cones from local trees. The cones will be processed to extract their seeds, and the seeds will be grown into saplings over the next 18 months before being planted in the summers of 2025 and 2026.
Tree Canada works on both public and private land, with individuals, corporate partners, and institutions, and in cooperation with Indigenous communities, schools, municipalities, and community groups to inspire, educate, and enable Canadians to plant and nurture trees to improve lives and address climate change.
Let’s Plant Trees Ltd. provides turn-key reforestation services on behalf of Indigenous governments. It designs and manages tree planting projects focused on critical habitat restoration, creating sustainable employment opportunities, and combining Traditional Knowledge with Western Science to successfully plant diverse native species at scale.
The project incorporates the Tłı̨chǫ philosophy of ‘Strong Like Two People’, as it is guided to a large extent by Tłı̨chǫ Traditional Knowledge and is supported by Western Science. Community Elders, environmental monitors, and forestry and silviculture experts are working to identify priority planting areas and tree species best suited for Caribou Habitat reforestation. Following the devastating forest fires this summer, ‘FireSmart’ planting will be a significant component of the project and help protect communities well into the future.
“Tłı̨chǫ Government is pleased to take a leadership role with Tree Canada and Let’s Plant Trees Ltd., to foster the healing of the land after devastating wildfires. Together, we will work to counter climate change through the reforestation of vital wildlife habitat and support training and employment opportunities for those in our communities.”
Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty
“Tree Canada is honoured to be part of this innovative project to restore critical Boreal Caribou habitat and support the Tłı̨chǫ Government’s goal of building local expertise to carry out future reforestation projects. We will engage our network of committed partners to ensure stable funding and support for planting these one million trees over the next three years.”
Nicole Hurtubise, CEO, Tree Canada
“Let’s Plant Trees Ltd. has assembled respected professionals from the Canadian silviculture industry to meet the challenges of the Northern Boreal forest. We are excited to begin work with the Tłı̨chǫ Government, community Elders, and local contractors. Over the next many years, we expect to develop proprietary expertise that the Tłı̨chǫ will be able to share with others whose land is similarly impacted by climate change.”
David Tonken, President and CEO