Papasay Value-Added Wood Products (PVAWP - Sawmill)


Beginning as a vision of Chief Paul Gladu in 2008, and during a downturn in the forest sector, the Sawmill was envisioned to be an employer of members in the community. The project was scaled down appropriately and in 2012, BNA used the material from Blue
Lake to form the base of the Industrial Park.

After the base was completed and the pad was put down, the 12 000 square foot (60X120), steel building for the sawmill was erected in 2013. Equipment was purchase in 2014 and 2015 including a gas powered Woodmeiser LT40 and a Woodmeiser LT50, an electric saw which required 3-phase power to operate, as well as an Edger.

Over the years, BNA has found funding to purchase a dry kiln, lathing equipment and value-added wood milling equipment and in 2017, BNA hired Art Gladu as the sawmill manager and August of that year sawmill production began. In the time since, the Sawmill has provided employment to members of the community and neighbouring communities in the region.

With the support of NRCAN, BNA brought 3-Phase power into the community in 2017/2018, allowing us to run the Woodmeiser LT50, increasing our cutting and production capacityto 2000 board feet per day. Even with this added cutting capacity, the Sawmill needed to expand to meet its market demands, and never having to turn down or refuse orders.

In 2021, we have purchased a new Baker Saw which increases our cutting capacity from 2000 board feet per day to 8000 board feet per day. This will ensure that the Sawmill can
meet market demands and deliver on larger orders, and as is our intention, create greater employment opportunities for BNA members.

Even though BNA has already acquired a Kiln, we have not yet purchased a Kiln Chamber. As a result, BNA will transport its rough cut, green wood to Nakina, where it is dried and then shipped back, then put through a planer/molder to be purchased using funds contributed by NRCAN. This will result in dried, planed/molded wood for use in building homes for BNA as well as sale to other neighbouring communities.

The Sawmill is the main economic driver for BNA, owned and managed, 100%, by the band and is the main employer in the community. The Sawmill and its operations will expand and grow to meet the demand of Ballard, Resolute Forest Products, and that of the orders coming into the sawmill as well as the demand for constructing our own homes at Sand Point.