A decade of mutual benefits: Celebrating our long-term agreement with Conklin
December 2020 –On December 17, we will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our long-term agreement with the Métis community of Conklin near our Christina Lake oil sands project. The anniversary marks a decade of working together, communicating with one another and mutually benefiting from our relationship.
In 2010, shortly after Cenovus was formed as a standalone company, we entered into our first ever long term benefit agreement with Conklin based on mutual respect and understanding. This agreement gave both sides more certainty as our oil sands operations grew, with Conklin providing long-term support for our projects while sharing the benefits of our success.
Al Reid, Cenovus Executive Vice-President Stakeholder Engagement, Safety, Legal & General Counsel, describes what it was like to put his signature under what became the first of several long-term agreements with our Indigenous neighbours:
“Even though Cenovus was in the early days of being an independent company, we drew on many years of experience working with Indigenous communities to formalize our relationship with Conklin in this way,” says Reid. “Through respect and understanding on both sides, our engagement with Conklin has steadily grown into the mutually beneficial relationship it is today. It has lasted through the ups and downs of our industry and became an example for how we interact with other Indigenous communities.”
Reid’s thoughts are shared by Margaret Quintal, board member of Conklin’s Community Resource Development Advisory Committee:
“The agreement has benefitted Conklin in so many ways,” says Quintal, “We are able to provide a variety of supports and services for our members, from youth to seniors, that otherwise would be a challenge to deliver. We appreciate the benefits that have been available to help sustain and grow our community.”
Over the years, our relationship with Conklin has continued to grow. For example, in early 2020, Conklin was one of six Indigenous communities to join our Indigenous Housing Initiative, which commits $50 million over five years to build much needed new homes in Indigenous communities near our oil sands operations.
Since entering into agreement with Conklin, we have signed eight more long-term agreements with First Nations and Métis communities near our oil sands operations in northeastern Alberta.