Suncor, Fort McKay First Nation partner on prospective oil sands development on Canadian reservation land

March 12, 2024

(WO) – Fort McKay First Nation and Suncor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a prospective oil sands lease development opportunity on Fort McKay reserve lands in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and respectively Fort McKay First Nation Traditional Territory.

Source: Suncor

"With this agreement, we are creating the conditions for sustainable prosperity, growth and health for our Nation for generations to come, while leading the way on protecting our land and water,” says Chief Raymond Powder of Fort McKay First Nation. “We will bring our values of stewardship and care to this opportunity. In doing so, we are charting a new path for economic development on our lands.”

Under the MOU, Suncor is progressing early stage technical and commercial feasibility assessments to determine the quality and quantity of economically recoverable mineable ore on Lease 174C, which is FMFN Reserve Land.

“We are honored to be working with Fort McKay First Nation. Through this partnership, Fort McKay First Nation has the opportunity to govern oil sands activity on their land and fully participate and benefit from responsible resource development,” says Peter Zebedee, Suncor’s Executive Vice President – Oil Sands. “This potential opportunity, which has synergies with Suncor’s existing operations, could provide Suncor with bitumen supply optionality post 2040.”

Chief Powder adds, “Our people of Fort McKay First Nation have diligently worked hard for years as a collaborative and reliable partner. This has resulted in building the Nation for opportunities while securing future growth in our community. This is the true meaning of reconciliation. It puts in our hands the tools we need to bring prosperity and a sustainable future for our people.”

Fort McKay First Nation and Suncor are committed to facilitating economic self-determination for Indigenous communities based on mutual trust and respect. Both parties share a goal of maximizing mutual prosperity while minimizing environmental impacts, including supporting Suncor’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions from its operations by 2050, as a member of the Pathways Alliance.

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