Cold Lake First Nations is receiving a huge investment from Cenovus Energy over the next five years.
Cenovus has committed $10-million over the next five years to Cold Lake First Nations for housing improvements, the oil producer announced on Wednesday.
CLFN is one of six First Nations and Metis communities in Northern Alberta that is receiving roughly $50 million, including Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Chard Métis Local 218, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, Conklin Métis Local 193 and Heart Lake First Nation.
“We have about 3,000 band members and only 300 homes. So, the crisis is always there and is always ongoing. The relationship has always been a great one with Cenovus; they have always listened and try to do the best they can to help us along the way,” said CLFN Chief Roger Marten.
Cenovus plans to work with leaders from the six communities to determine the most effective ways of delivering new homes based on the specific needs of each community.
It’s anticipated the communities will be able to build about 200 new houses in total over five years.
Cenovus will also work with the communities to develop training programs so that local residents can participate in the building and maintenance of the new homes.
This will potentially create valuable education and employment opportunities for them in the long term.
Depending on the success of the initiative, including meeting Cenovus’s performance expectations, the company may consider extending the program to 10 years with a total investment amount of $100 million.
“Investing in Indigenous communities near our operations and ensuring they share in the benefits of resource development has always been part of how we do business. Today, we see an opportunity to step up and do more,” said Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer.