The Fort Chipewyan Métis and Imperial recently celebrated the signing of a long term benefits agreement providing for mutual benefits to both parties.
The signing of the agreement was celebrated with a dinner on May 29 in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, a remote community located about than 200 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Close to 100 people attended the event, including the Fort Chipewyan Métis Board of Directors, community members and Imperial representatives. The event included traditional Métis jigging by Fort Chip’s Finest, a local youth jigging group. Imperial provided funding for the jigging group’s new dance regalia to support participation in future performances and competitions.
“This agreement is creates a better future of the Fort Chipewyan Métis community,” said Cam MacDonald, Fort Chipewyan Métis President. “We will be able to provide our traditional knowledge and expertise into the design and work with Imperial throughout the life of these projects. Our members will benefit with better opportunity for education, training and business development which is good for both Imperial and the Métis.”
The relationship between Imperial and the Fort Chipewyan Métis began more than 10 years ago with the development of Imperial’s Kearl oil sand mine. Through ongoing engagement, the parties desired a more inclusive and structured framework to continue their dialogue related to Imperial’s Kearl oil sands mine and proposed Aspen oil sands project. The framework provides for enhanced opportunities in consultation and environmental stewardship related to those activities, and economic benefit through community funding, employment and business contracting opportunities.
“Imperial and the Fort Chipewyan Métis have many shared interests in Imperial’s activities in the oil sands region,” said Bryan Pickett, Imperial’s vice-president of production. “This agreement will provide for a more inclusive approach between both parties to better understand how we can collaborate to develop those resources for mutual benefit, in a respectful and responsible manner.”