The development of the oil sands can result in shared and potentially conflicting interests between industry and Aboriginal peoples.
The oil sands industry supports the development of strong business relationships and partnerships through trust, respect and honest and open communication.
For Aboriginal communities, improved communication helps identify community interests, concerns and priorities. An effective dialogue can result in agreements to avoid culturally or ecologically significant areas. A solid relationship can result in employment opportunities and opportunities for local service providers.
For industry, good working relationships help ensure access to resources, reduced delays for regulatory approvals, and improved access to service-industry companies and employees.
Economic and employment benefits in the oil sands community
- In 2010, oil sands companies contracted more than $1.3 billion for goods and services from Aboriginal-owned businesses. Source: OSDG 2011.
- There were more than 1,700 Aboriginal employees in permanent operations jobs in the oil sands industry in 2010. Source: OSDG 2011.
- From 2002 to 2011, Aboriginal companies earned over $6 billion through working relationships with the oil sands industry. Source: OSDG 2012.
- In 2011, oil sands companies contributed more than $12 million to Aboriginal communities in the Wood Buffalo and Lac La Biche regions for school and youth programs, celebrations, cultural events, literacy projects and other community programs. Source: OSDG 2012.
- Wood Buffalo Aboriginal companies performed over $1.05 billion in contract work with OSDG member companies in 2011. Source: OSDG 2012
- Thanks to oil sands development, Fort McMurray has become one of the fastest growing communities in North America, with average annual population growth of approximately 5% from 2006-2011. Source: Statistics Canada.
- The Fort McKay Group of Companies (FMGC), which works extensively with oil sands companies through its six limited companies, brings in more than $100 million in revenue annually and is completely owned and controlled by the Fort McKay First Nation.
- In 2008, Suncor Energy Inc. surpassed a $1 billion goods and services spending milestone with Aboriginal companies.
- Syncrude Canada Ltd. is one of only eight companies in Canada to be accredited at the Gold Level in the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business's Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program.