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, including Aboriginal communities. We want the communities where we live and work to be stronger and better off because we're there. To learn more about our broader Community Investment program, and initiatives that are offered to all communities near our operating areas, check out our Community Investment focus areas.

Some of the programs we support are exclusively offered to Aboriginal communities near our operations. They include:

Giving youth a chance

NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program

We partner with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to bring the Cenovus NAIT Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program to communities near our operations. The course helps 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 NSD to improve 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

We partner with Frontier College to deliver the Indigenous Summer Literacy Camp in four communities in northern Alberta, located near our operations.

The camps offer fun, educational activities for students 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.

  • More than 260 youth have participated in these camps since 2014
  • More than 1,900 free, high-quality books were sent home with campers
  • 89 percent of the students said that camp made them more excited about school, and 87 percent of teachers surveyed nationally said children who attend camp maintained or increased their literacy skills
  • 33 local youth and adults were hired as camp counsellors and receive training to increase their leadership skills and literacy knowledge

To learn more, visit Frontier College website.


Strong families, safe communities

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 offered in urban centres. Aboriginal populations have a three to five times higher rate of diabetes than non-Aboriginal populations, and our support helps to target those areas.

Wood Buffalo Mobile Food Bank

Cenovus has supported the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association since 2009, and more recently their Mobile Pantry Program. This 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 full-service grocery stores within reasonable walking distance. We support this initiative to directly address geographically isolated, low-income communities where residents experience chronic hunger and food insecurity.

To learn more, visit Wood Buffalo Mobile Food Bank website.

Local Cultural Events

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, events like Pow Wows, Treaty Days, Métis festivals and other gatherings are held in a number of our neighboring communities. Cenovus is proud to be a supporting partner in many of these celebrations.