Commerce and Tradition
Commerce and tradition have often intersected in the lives of the people of the Fort McKay First Nation. The Nation’s roots run deep in Fort McKay, a community located along the Athabasca River in northeast Alberta, and coincide with the start-up of a Hudson Bay Company trading post in 1820. Over time and due to its geographic location, the Nation expanded its business interests and has since worked with forestry, oil sands and pipeline industries. In 1986, the Fort McKay Group of Companies (FMGOC) was established, an oil sands construction and services company 100% owned by the Fort McKay First Nation. FMGOC, along with numerous joint venture companies, aim to preserve the Nation’s cultural values while providing the framework for progressive economic, industrial and social developments in the region.
Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher’s powerful leadership has driven the Nation’s economic growth while keeping the Nation’s feet firmly planted in its relationship with nature and the environment. Chief Boucher, who has been the Fort McKay First Nation Chief since 1986, was named 2018 Canadian Energy Person of the Year by the Energy Council of Canada, and was recognized by Report on Business Magazine as one of 50 most powerful people in Canadian business.
Chief Boucher’s vision is most clearly demonstrated within the community of Fort McKay itself. Located 65 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Fort McKay First Nation offers its 800 residents numerous services, including a healthcare centre, family support centre, continuing care facility, youth centre, broadcast station and community arena.
The Fort McKay First Nation and Teck
Teck’s proposed Frontier oil sands project is located in the traditional territory of the Fort McKay First Nation. From the earliest stages of the project in 2008, we have engaged with Indigenous communities in the region, including the Fort McKay First Nation, to understand their priorities and to integrate their perspectives and traditional knowledge into our decision-making.
In 2017, Teck reached a participation agreement with the Fort McKay First Nation, outlining the economic and social benefits connected with the Frontier project. This includes opportunities for employment, training and contracting, and innovative investment opportunities for the Nation. It also establishes a framework for cooperation on shared priorities, including environmental stewardship.