Aboriginal relations areas of focus

Cenovus's community engagement model

We work with Aboriginal communities in our operating areas to provide opportunities for employment, education and training, community investment, consultation, and business and economic development opportunities.


We want Cenovus to be the kind of company in which Aboriginal people want to build careers. That’s why we support programs that allow us to work with Aboriginal communities to identify gaps in education and training that can be barriers to employment. We work with Aboriginal people to help them gain access to employment opportunities not only at Cenovus, but also within our industry. Check out our current opportunities.

Education and training

We invest in all types of educational programs that contribute to a vibrant, dynamic future for communities. Our goal is to support high-impact programs that improve the likelihood of students staying in school, increase graduation rates in communities, and provide life skills that create a better future.

Aboriginal community investment

We’re a company that's committed to making the communities where we live and work stronger and better off as a result of us being there. We want these communities to share in the benefits associated with our operations.  We focus our community investment in three core areas – learning; safety and well-being; and sustainable communities, including cultural sustainability.


We strive to create an open flow of communication with Aboriginal community members to ensure they know our company, understand our projects, and that we understand their concerns. Many of our growth plans are concentrated in an area of northeast Alberta that has many Aboriginal communities. We consult with these communities regularly to understand the potential impacts of our operations and identify ways we can mitigate them.


Wherever we operate, it's important that we build relationships with Aboriginal people and all community members near our operating areas, engaging in dialogue, responding to questions and seeking to understand any concerns. We’re proud of what we do and how we do it. We believe it's important to help others outside our company understand our business and our commitment to operating safely and responsibly. We do this by meeting with local Aboriginal people and other stakeholders in all our operating communities to discuss our operations and proposed project plans. We recognize that no two communities are exactly alike and that each community has its own unique interest in our projects. We’re open to feedback and are committed to responding to community members’ concerns.

Business and economic development

Where we can, we train and hire locally, and use businesses and services in the areas around our operations. This approach helps us meet our labour needs and contributes to enhanced local economic development. We have developed strong relationships with Aboriginal businesses near our oil sands developments in northeast Alberta. For example, we contract Primco Dene, a Cold Lake First Nations company, to provide camp management services at Foster Creek and Christina Lake. Our investments in Aboriginal-owned and joint venture businesses have tripled from $86 million in 2009 to $245 million in 2011, which represents about nine percent of our total company spend. This increase is up from six percent in 2010, and reflects our efforts to engage Aboriginal entrepreneurs in our procurement programs as well as greater awareness of Cenovus among Aboriginal companies.

Cenovus's community engagement model