The Fort McMurray #468 First Nation and Imperial celebrated the signing of a long-term benefits agreement and commitment to collaboration between the two parties.
The agreement, signed earlier this year, was celebrated May 2 at a gathering in Anzac, located about 50 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray in northeastern Alberta. Close to 200 people attended the event, including Fort McMurray #468 First Nation members, Imperial representatives and others guests. The celebration was held in conjunction with the traditional blessing and grand opening of the Nation’s new community centre, which was partially funded by Imperial. The event also featured a beautiful display of traditional dancing and drumming. The dinner was sponsored by Civeo Corporation, which has a joint-venture partnership with Fort McMurray #468 First Nation and provides camp accommodation and services to Imperial’s Kearl oil sands operation.
“Imperial was very respectful in this process and recognizes what it means for the Nation to have industry operating on traditional territory,” said Chief Ron Kruetzer of the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation. “It’s this level of respect that has allowed us to discuss and come to a collaborative agreement that is mutually beneficial for both entities.”
The agreement lays out a framework for economic benefits related to Imperial’s Kearl oil sands operation and the future Aspen oil sands projects through community funding and business contracting opportunities with Fort McMurray #468 First Nation’s owned companies and joint-venture partnerships. It also identifies opportunities for meaningful ongoing consultation and environmental stewardship related to Kearl and Aspen, which are located in Fort McMurray #468 First Nation’s traditional territory.
“This agreement, which is a first between Imperial and the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation – sets out a path to build a long-term relationship with mutual benefit, respect and trust,” said Bryan Pickett, Imperial’s vice-president of production. “It encourages dialogue on matters of shared and unique interests and supports the Nation’s economic growth and prosperity as part of Imperial’s responsible development of Canada’s oil sands resources.”