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Lucas Punko (middle) with Syncrude representatives at the 2015 Belcourt Brosseau Métis Awards.


“The financial support of the award alleviates much of the stress that comes along with pursuing post-secondary education. It has allowed me to focus on being more involved at school and in the community,” says Lucas Punko, Syncrude award recipient at the 2015 Belcourt Brosseau Métis Awards. 

Belcourt Brosseau Métis Awards becomes a family tradition

As a member of McMurray Métis, a group dedicated to the advancement of Métis people in Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta, Lucas Punko says embracing his culture is something he and his family take great pride in.

When he first heard of the Belcourt Brosseau Métis Awards (BBMA), an organization that helps Métis students from across Alberta reach their educational goals, he was eager to apply. His older sister took home two awards during her post-secondary education, and Lucas followed suit, receiving the Syncrude Award at the BBMAs in September 2015.

“I saw how receiving the award made a huge difference for my sister,” says the Fort McMurray local. “The financial support of the award alleviates much of the stress that comes along with pursuing post-secondary education. It has allowed me to focus on being more involved at school and in the community.”

With help from partners such as Syncrude, the BBMA Fund provides about 140 awards each year between $2,000 and $7,000.

Lucas received the Syncrude Award at the BBMAs on September 26, 2015. He is currently enrolled in his first year of Police Studies and Investigations at MacEwan University.

“My goal for the future is to join the RCMP or a city police force in Canada,” says Lucas. “Thanks to the support I’ve received from the BBMA, I’m able to take the next steps in getting there. I hope to inspire Aboriginal youth to do the same.”

Through a variety of scholarships and awards, Syncrude is proud support hundreds of students gain the education needed to build successful careers in a variety of disciplines, including engineering, trades, business, nursing, education and environmental sciences.

For more information on Syncrude Scholarships and Awards, visit


Each year, Syncrude invests more than $6 million to community organizations working to make a difference. Whether it’s investing in local infrastructure, stocking the food bank or opening the doors to learning, Syncrude is committed to making a difference in the communities where our employees live and work. We also support our 5,000 employees in their individual volunteering efforts to create better communities, and provide scholarships at educational institutions across Alberta. 

In 2014:

  • $2.5 million to Keyano College to support Aboriginal education and arts programming.

  • $2.48 million raised during 2014 United Way Campaign supporting the United Way in Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Calgary.

  • $500,000 to the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation to support the development of a Brain Imaging and Treatment Unit that will include Gamma Knife radiosurgery, an advanced, incision-free procedure for patients facing brain tumours, epilepsy and other complex neurological conditions.

  • $75,000 donation to kick off the 2014 Syncrude Food Drive in support of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association
  • $50,000 in donations decided by Syncrude employees through the Give with Heart campaign, including the highest gift of $25,000 going to Fort McMurray SPCA.
  • $128,000 to 74 non-profit organizations and another $94,000 through busing grants in 2014 - Our Good Neighbours program recognizes employee and retirees who volunteer in the community. Individual grants of $500 each are awarded to those organizations for which they volunteer.

We're proud to be making a difference in our community, including investments to:

  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation - Uncle Fred Youth Elders Lodge
  • Alberta Cancer Foundation
  • Art Gallery of Alberta
  • Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business
  • Careers: The Next Generation
  • Compassion House
  • Fort Chipewyan Historical Society
  • Fort McKay First Nation - Youth Summer Employment Program
  • Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Eduction
  • Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society
  • Fort McMurray Historical Society
  • Fort McMurray Public Library
  • Fort McMurray Public School District
  • Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
  • Grant MacEwan University
  • Indspire
  • Inside Education
  • Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
  • Keyano College
  • Mikisew Cree First Nation Elders Care
  • Northern Lights Health Foundation
  • Regional Aboriginal Recognition Awards
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
  • Science Alberta Foundation
  • Skills Canada
  • Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation
  • The Children's Centre
  • United Way
  • University of Alberta
  • Vista Ridge
  • Wood Buffalo Food Bank