As wisdom-keepers, teachers and guides, Elders are cornerstones of the Aboriginal community; they are essential links to traditions and language. But when Elders require full-time care that their families can’t always provide, they must relocate to facilities outside their community.
This is difficult for not only for the Elders who have to leave their families, but also for the residents and community leaders who look to them for counsel and the youth who need their cultural guidance.
The Fort Hills oil sands project has legacy legal agreements in place with Aboriginal communities affected by its activities. Meeting these commitments is key to maintaining our relationships and our ability to build and operate Fort Hills.
As the operator of Fort Hills, Suncor has been working with the community of Fort McKay to understand its priorities and support a healthy, sustainable place to live.
Through extensive community consultation, they identified the need for an Elder care centre. With tight economic times in mind, the community has worked to ensure that the facility’s design meets the needs of the Elders while keeping a sharp eye on costs.
On behalf of Fort Hills, Mark Little, EVP upstream, attended a celebration on Mar. 30, in Fort McKay to announce Fort Hills’ contribution for the care centre to local residents.
“A project like this takes immense energy and commitment from a community and it will bring great benefits. We know how important the wisdom and cultural connection is that Elders provide, and we’re proud to be a part of this important development.”
Ground breaking for the construction of the care centre is scheduled for the fall of 2015.