The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and Imperial celebrated the renewal of their decade-long relationship during a signing ceremony and community feast in Fort Chipewyan on March 1.
ACFN Chief Allan Adam and Bryan Pickett, Imperial vice president of production, both spoke at the event in the northern Alberta community of Fort Chipewyan, located more than 200 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. More than 150 ACFN members and Imperial representatives attended the event that also featured drumming and a community gathering.
“This is a good day for our Nation,” said Chief Adam. “By working together, ACFN and Imperial are demonstrating it is possible to develop the oil sands responsibly, minimize impacts to our traditional lands and ensure the ACFN shares in the benefits. I am proud of the work done by both sides to develop an agreement that will benefit our people and future generations.”
The agreement identifies economic benefits for the ACFN related to Imperial’s Kearl and future Aspen oil sands projects. It also identifies opportunities for meaningful engagement and communication and sets out a framework for ongoing consultation and environmental stewardship related to the projects, which are located in the traditional territory of the ACFN.
“This agreement sets the foundation for a renewed relationship between Imperial and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation - a relationship that started more than a decade ago and continues, grounded on values of respect, trust and partnership,” said Pickett. “It fosters dialogue, strengthens our relationship on matters that are important to both of us and supports ACFN’s economic prosperity as part of Imperial’s responsible oil sands development.”