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Political & Economic Organizations - Additional Reading

Business and Politics

B. Natural Resources

In the past, First Nations people on reserves watched as resource companies extracted oil, gas and trees from their area without receiving much or any benefit.  This is now changing.

Good Fish Lake CorporationThe Goodfish Lake Development Corporation is a manufacturer and cleaner of protective garments and work camp linens for eastern Alberta’s oil sands industry.

The Cold Lake First Nation has an economic benefits agreement with large resource companies operating near its reserve.  The agreement assures that some of the wealth that companies generate by taking resources from the region will be shared with the people on the reserve.  With training band members and improved communications between companies and First Nations regarding jobs and contracts, employment rates on the reserve are at an all-time high.

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) owns three office buildings and is getting into the oil and gas industry.  It consults with its Elders Advisory Council on cultural issues, long-term planning, and other matters. The Métis Settlements Act began a new chapter in the lives of the Métis people living on the province’s eight settlements. The development of the natural resources on the settlements is a big part of the plans to improve the people's quality of life.  Each settlement has short and long-term goals for sustainable resource harvesting, which means that the companies use environmentally sound practices that allow the environment to continue and function; which will help support future generations.

For example, the Gift Lake Métis Settlement has completed an extensive forest management plan to give an accurate inventory of settlement trees and their potential for logging and regrowth.