Investing in Aboriginal communities

Investing in Aboriginal communities

We support a wide range of organizations that are focused on the needs that matter most to local communities. We want the communities where we live and work to be stronger and better off because we’re there.

Our community investment efforts are concentrated in three focus areas:


NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program

We partner with Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to bring the Cenovus NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program to communities near our operations. The course is designed to help Aboriginal youth develop skills in leadership and facilitation, effective communication and cooperative relationships, project planning, problem solving and decision making. Each student leaves the program with a personal development plan identifying their goals and the steps they should take to reach them. More than 75 students have graduated from this program in the communities of Cold Lake First Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Bigstone Cree Nation, the Métis Nation of Alberta Region One, and Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation.

Learn more about the NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program.

Northland School Division

Northland School Division (NSD) is recognized as being culturally and geographically unique. The division serves approximately 2,900 students, primarily First Nation and Metis, and roughly half of NSD schools are in our operating communities in northern Alberta. We work with the Northland School Division to address student engagement and graduation rates. We’ve contributed $1.15M towards the division’s Early Literacy Initiative, Career and Technology Programs and the Attendance Improvement Initiative – Every Day Counts. The Division is seeing positive trends in both literacy levels as well as daily attendance, which are both significant factors in high school completion rates.

Learn more about the Northland School Division.

Frontier College – Indigenous Summer Literacy Camp

We partner with Frontier College to deliver the Indigenous Summer Literacy Camp in Beaver Lake Cree Nation, which is located near our operations. We recently committed to expanding our partnership for camps into three additional communities each year through to 2019.

The camps offer fun, educational activities for campers to build their language, literacy and numeracy skills through games, arts and crafts, cultural activities, field trips, and special visitors from their community. Campers also receive healthy snacks every day to fuel their bodies and minds for learning and playing. Local staff are hired for the camp and benefit from training and meaningful employment.

Find out more about our learning focus area.

Safety and well-being

The Travelling Diabetes Resource Program (TDRP)

We support the TDRP, which travels to Alberta communities where diabetes is most prevalent and access to medical and support services is less frequent. Through this program, under-served rural and Aboriginal people in Alberta are provided with the same services as those offered in urban centres. Aboriginal populations have a three to five times higher prevalence rate of diabetes than non-Aboriginal populations, and our support helps to target those areas.

Girls Inc.

We partner with Girls Inc. whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. The program provides girls ages 6-16 with the knowledge and skills needed to be confident in their own skin. Girls in the program learn positive self-esteem, are encouraged to make positive life choices, taught to resist peer pressure and learn how to constructively address bullying and violence.

In addition to be taught as part of the school curriculum, the programs are implemented as after-school or weekend programming and reach the communities of Janvier, Fort McKay, Anzac, Fort McMurray First Nation, Fort Chipewyan as well as Fort McMurray.

Wood Buffalo Mobile Food Bank

The Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association and their Mobile Pantry Program assists low-income individuals and families who live in remote rural communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Some residents in this area have little or no access to transportation and/or to full-service grocery stores within reasonable walking distance. We partner with the Food Bank Association’s Mobile Pantry to directly address geographically isolated, low-income communities where residents experience chronic hunger and food insecurity.

Learn more about the Wood Buffalo Mobile Food Pantry.

Find out more about our safety and well-being focus area.

Sustainable communities

Cultural Events – Preserving Local Traditions

We support community and cultural events that bring together elders, youth, families and community organizations to celebrate culture, community spirit and preserve local traditions. Each year over the summer months, events like Pow Wows, Treaty Days and Métis festivals are held in a number of communities across Alberta, and Cenovus is proud to be a supporting partner of these celebrations.

SCcyber – Driver Training

We have partnered with other industry members to support SCCyber in delivering a driver training program on reserve. This program delivers the instruction and training right in the community. Not having a driver’s licence is a major barrier to employment in many reserve communities and this investment works to address that issue.

PLAY Program

Cenovus is a founding partner of Right To Play's 'Promoting Life Skills in Aboriginal Youth' or PLAY Program, that is being piloted in up to six First Nations in Alberta from September 2015 to December 2018. The Alberta PLAY program provides children and youth with weekly programs on–reserve that are facilitated by locally hired and trained staff. Through regular play-based learning activities, PLAY is designed to strengthen essential life skills, enhance healthy behaviors and increase youth employability.

Find out more about our sustainable communities focus area.