Pathways Joe Lafond EN

Joe Lafond is a 37-year veteran welder at Syncrude. On his time off, he can be found with his horses at Tour North Ranch in Fort McMurray. Learn how Joe helped rescue local horses in the 2015 edition of Pathways.

Indigenous Relations

In Your Community Newsletter

Syncrude has launched In Your Community, a newsletter for stakeholders in the Wood Buffalo region.

We work very closely with our local Indigenous neighbours. In Your Community is another tool to ensure we effectively communicate with our neighbours and help us showcase initiatives and provide updates on our activities.


Our Indigenous relations commitment

Our Indigenous relations commitment focuses on six key areas: corporate leadership, community development and capacity building, employment, business development, education and the environment. Below are some of our performance highlights. For further information on our commitments and their impact, please refer to our Sustainability Report or Pathways  magazine.

  • We are recognized with Gold Level accreditation by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) in their Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program. We are one of only two oil sands operators to achieve this level.
  • We are one of the largest private-sector employers of Indigenous people in Canada. Of our total workforce, around 10% are of self-declared First Nations, Métis or Inuit descent.
  • Total cumulative spending with Indigenous-owned businesses is over $3 billion.
  • About 4,700 hectares of land has been reclaimed by Syncrude or is ready for re-vegetation. Indigenous Elders and community members provide input on our reclamation through regular meetings and annual tours.
  • Syncrude and the Fort McKay First Nation co-manage a herd of wood bison grazing on land reclaimed from mining operations. The ranch has been in operation for 25 years.
  • Important to Syncrude is investing in initiatives that foster strong and healthy communities including youth initiatives such as the Indspire Education Career Conference for Indigenous high school students. The Conference offers students the opportunity to participate in career workshops, learn about financial support and meet some of Canada’s top employers.
  • The Fort Chipewyan rotational employment program provides employees with free accommodation for the duration of their shift at Syncrude and free air transport to and from Fort Chipewyan. The program has been in place for over 30 years.
  • Each year, Syncrude produces a review of its Indigenous relations commitments, called Pathways. The publication also profiles many local and national success stories from the Indigenous community.