Partnering with Indigenous businesses & communities
Regardless of culture, background or beliefs, there is one aspect of life that people across the globe agree on: Relationships are important. So important that when COVID-19 hit, Suncor was able to strengthen some of its already existing relationships and enter into new partnerships with Indigneous suppliers.
One of the partnerships formed in 2020 was with Acden Base Operators (ABO), a majority-owned company by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. ABO was awarded a multi-year contract to support operations and facility management at our Firebag airport (YFI) that services many of Suncor’s remote sites. In 2020, YFI saw over 160,000 charter passengers go through its doors and more than 1,500 helicopter flights. The airport is also home to more than 30 approved drone vendors.
In total, Suncor was able to increase its annual Indigenous spend by more than 10 per cent in 2020 for a total of over $900 million going to Indigenous businesses and suppliers. We also created eight new business development plans with First Nation and Métis communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
At the same time, Suncor’s Petro-CanadaTM added nine new retail and wholesale marketing arrangements with Indigenous communities across Canada, bringing the total of Indigenous-owned retail and wholesale sites to 58—an increase from 2019’s 48 sites, which surpasses the 2025 target of 40.
Many of the Indigenous-owned Petro-CanadaTM retail locations are a big part of the communities they’re in. Such is the case with the Petro-Canada located on Sioux Valley Dakota Nation near Griswold, Manitoba. When the reserve was locked down due to COVID, the station became a main source of food and fuel for the 1,600 people living on-reserve. The station remained open through all waves of the pandemic and provided the community with food hampers.