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Industry Capacity Building Agreement

 

ATC/Industry Capacity Building Agreement

August 4, 1999

As a result of the announcements of more than $20 billion worth of expansions and new development in the Athabasca Oil Sands, the five Chiefs of the Athabasca Tribal Council (ATC) took part in two Strategic Planning Sessions early in 1998.

A document entitled "Resource Development Strategy" was derived from these sessions. This document outlines the First Nations outstanding fundamental issues and strategies for resolution that need to he addressed in order for them to achieve true self government.

The Chiefs’ took the first step toward meaningful and open dialogue with the industries in the Athabasca Oil Sands region by presenting the ATC Resource Development Strategy.

After one year of negotiations and planning, the result of this approach was the ATC/Industry Capacity Building Agreement officially signed on March 5, 1999. This agreement has the following objectives:

  • To work with ATC and member First Nations to develop community capacity
  • To identify community and regional issues and opportunities and to resolve those issues that pertain to industrial development and opportunities
  • To work with ATC on the development of strategies to obtain Government support for addressing outstanding First Nation issues

The agreement identifies five priority areas:

  • Environmental
  • Employment and Training
  • Physical Infrastructure
  • Human Infrastructure (Health and Social Development)
  • Long Term Benefits
  • Subcommittees have been formed addressing each of these priorities with representatives from ATC and industry.

" The ATC/Industry Capacity Building Agreement is a key part of ensuring the responsible development of the oilsands in the Athabasca region. It is also an excellent example of how Aboriginal people and developers can work together in a co-operative fashion, to address the issues that are important to the Aboriginal communities," says Phil Lachambre, Chair of the Athabasca Developers Group and Executive Vice President of Syncrude.

Bill Almdal states, "The key goals are to ensure that First Nations people and businesses are well informed of all of the ramifications of more than $20 billion of new investment in the oilsands, have their concerns addressed effectively and are well positioned to share fully in the economic opportunity that emerges from the expansion. 1 look forward to working with Marlene Poitras as co-chair to ensure the intent and outcome of this agreement."

Subsequent agreements with the provincial and municipal governments were officially signed on August 4, 1999. All of these agreements are for three years. The intent of the Long Term Benefits Working Group is to formulate a process and strategy to obtain long term benefits for the First Nations beyond the three year term of the Agreements.

Jim Boucher, President, ATC states, "The membership will be encouraged to know that the benefits are for their own sake and this agreement is struck to make sure the benefits go down to the membership."