Innovative and collaborative spirit is securing benefits for generations to come
In 2017, Fort McKay First Nation (FMFN) and Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) completed the purchase of a 49% partnership in Suncor’s East Tank Farm Development—the largest business investment by a First Nation entity in Canadian history. The historic deal demonstrates how innovative thinking and collaboration can result in significant shared value between mining companies and local Indigenous communities.
The East Tank Farm Development is a bitumen and diluent storage, blending and cooling facility located approximately 30 kilometers north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. It is primarily dedicated to servicing bitumen production from the Fort Hills oil sands mining project. Revenue from long-term terminal services agreements with the Fort Hills oil sands partners underpins the financing. Suncor is the operator of the East Tank Farm Development.
“This deal is built on a foundation of trust and collaboration between Fort McKay and Suncor; this is an example of how First Nations and natural resource development companies can find ways to support each other for the mutual long-term benefits,” FMFN Chief Jim Boucher.
“We are ecstatic to see this partnership come to reality. It’s with great pride that we are part of this monumental deal. It has allowed us to collaborate in a true partnership and demonstrates the possibilities of how future successful business models between First Nations and industry across this country can be achieved,” MCFN Chief Archie Waquan.
“Through this partnership, we’ve learned a lot about working together to create something significant and I look forward to continuing to work together on this joint investment with Fort McKay First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation for many years to come,” Suncor’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Little.
Canada’s mining industry believes that partnerships with Indigenous communities must be built on trust and respect.