2013 ABORIGINAL REWARDING PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAM
THE BLOOD TRIBE-FORT MCKAY FIRST NATION EMPLOYMENT PARTNERSHIP PILOT PROJECT
It was hoped when this award was established ten years ago that, ultimately, “all-First-Nations” partnerships would emerge to affirm, reflect, and promote the inherent ability and capacity of aboriginal people to succeed independently of any particular industrial partner. The Blood Tribe-Fort McKay First Nation Employment Partnership Pilot project is the first such partnership to receive the award.
This project formed a strategic alliance between Fort McKay First Nation and Blood Tribe to address the needs of each community by developing a mutually beneficial workforce development program. This pilot is designed for success by realistically addressing the difficulties that any entrant into oil and gas work and camp life will encounter. A total of 98 Blood Tribe members are participating in the program and an important component involves the participation of their families and visits up to the camps and community. All of the members who successfully complete the training program will be offered continued full time employment by Fort McKay First Nation and/or their various business entities.
This partnership was selected because of the innovative nature of the collaboration. Having a northern Treaty 8 aboriginal community work to develop and nurture a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with their most southern Treaty 7 neighbors is extremely positive. In addition this project has demonstrated tangible results. This pilot project is projected to offer viable training and employment opportunities for up to 300 Blood Tribe members in the next two years.
While the partnership was largely enabled by the opportunities resource development has generated, the two partners have leveraged their relative strengths to the benefit of both—plenty of excellent jobs created and important projects built.
In their remarks upon receiving the ACR Rewarding Partnership Award Charles Weasel Head (left), Chief of the Blood Tribe, and Jim Boucher, Chief of the Fort McKay First Nation, spoke of the critical importance of building capacity and opportunity for the people of their communities and of their success in having done so with their Employment Partnership Pilot Project.
Pictured: Chief Charles Weasel Head of the Blood Tribe, Acting Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Clay Buchanan and Chief Jim Boucher of the Fort McKay First Nation.