Indigenous stakeholders have repeatedly told us that one of the most meaningful contributions our company can make on the journey of economic reconciliation is to grow healthy partnerships with Indigenous businesses.
“Participating in the economic benefits of oil sands resource development is key to fostering our community’s health and well-being,” says Dan Gallagher, chief executive officer at Mikisew Group. “Partaking in these economic activities means everything to our communities – from improved education, healthcare, housing and Elder care to overall access to critical infrastructure so these communities can continue flourishing in the future.”
In 2021, Imperial marked not only the highest total Indigenous spend in our history, but we also signed our largest-ever contracts with Indigenous-owned companies.
Fort McKay Graham and Mikisew North American were awarded five-year contracts to provide large-scale earthwork, land reclamation and mining support services to our Kearl asset, an operation striving to be a leader in safety, reliability, sustainability, and workforce inclusion.
At Imperial, we measure success not just by the dollar value of the contracts themselves, but also by the business relationships and the capacity we build and grow with Indigenous companies over time.
After years of working to facilitate partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous suppliers and to align our national supply chain needs with Indigenous partner capacity, these recent earthworks contracts are a significant indicator of the growing ability of Indigenous companies to compete with non-Indigenous industry players and to deliver large-scale projects in the oil sands.
“Establishing ourselves as a competitive provider is paving the way for other Indigenous companies to reach the same achievements. This is an opportunity for us to show industry in the region that we have a presence in the mining and heavy equipment space and we are successful, safe and efficient at delivering quality service,” says Sami Saad, chief executive officer at Fort McKay Group of Companies.
While these contracts and record annual spend represent a significant milestone in our Indigenous business development efforts, we recognize there are still many steps to go in walking this journey. We are focused now on expanding our efforts across the value chain with an emphasis on business development opportunities in our downstream operations.