Dignitaries, community and media arrived in Woss, B.C. on May 16th, 2018 to officially open the new Fundamentals of Forestry Training Centre. The ceremony opened with a welcome to the Traditional Territories of the ‘Namgis First Nation from councillor John Macko, and Macko was followed in speaking by master of ceremonies David Mitchell of Community Futures, Chair Andrew Hory of the Regional District of Mount Waddington, Mayor Shirley Ackland of Port McNeill, Co-Chair Megan Hanacek of Vancouver Island North Training & Attraction Society (VINTAS) Paul Mottershead of Vancouver Island University, Kindry Mercer of Western Forest Products, Dave Rushton of the Woss Residents Association, and the speeches were concluded by Instructor Dave Weymer of the Fundamentals of Forestry Training Centre. Special thanks were extended to Pat English of the RDMW for his extensive work and vision in administrating the efforts to create the Fundamentals of Forestry Centre and VINTAS.
The dialogue of the day focused on the importance of the forest sector to Vancouver Island North communities. The ‘Namgis First Nations government, local dignitaries, educators, and workers involved in the day were optimistic in their outlook on the sector, in supporting the ongoing sustainable harvest of timber, and in relying on the forest sector for jobs, protection of a healthy environment, and support of communities.
The region’s local media, the North Island Gazette and North Island Eagle, both extensively covered the VINTAS organized event. More information about this event and the VINTAS ‘My Vancouver Island North’ attraction campaign supporting community development can be read through the North Island Gazette at the following links below, or through the North Island Eagle in their hard-copy version, available out soon.