Early in 2015, Suncor’s Aboriginal supply chain management team connected our business leaders with Fort McKay business leaders for a cultural retreat. The experience was a crucial way for us to gain an understanding regarding the importance of Moose Lake, Alberta, a sacred Aboriginal traditional land. For two years now, Suncor has been working with the Fort McKay First Nation by providing resources to assist with access to Moose Lake.
In March, former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Kyle Fawcett and Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher signed a Letter of Intent to develop an access management plan for the beloved Moose Lake area.
Plans like this are possible due to the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, which created new environmental frameworks with limits to protect air and surface water quality as well as increase the total conserved land within the region to more than two million hectares.
“Moose Lake is an important place for the people of my community. It is where many of us go to hunt, trap, fish and pick berries safely and in peace,” said Jim Boucher, chief of Fort McKay First Nation. “The Letter of Intent I signed with the Alberta government is an important first step to ensure our children and grandchildren have a clean, peaceful place to keep our traditions and culture alive. I am looking forward to working together with the Alberta government and our industry partners to develop this important plan.”
By working together, First Nations, industry and government will develop the Access Management Plan for Moose Lake over the next year. This is a positive step towards collaboration and achieving a balance between oil sands development and the environmental protection of aboriginal traditional lands.