Buffalo River Dene Nation: Oil Deal
Band officials of the
Below is an article written by Kathy Gallant and published by the
The ink was flowing last week in Dillon with hopes that oil will be flowing there soon as well.
New partnerships were harvested on Thursday, May 24 as Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) signed an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with Access Energy, a
The agreement gives Access Energy the opportunity to begin exploration on over 760,000 hectares of BRDN’s land, while working together with band officials and residents to support economic and cultural development at the First Nation.
The band members took a vote on accepting the offer, and approximately 85 per cent of the voting members were in favour of the IBA being signed.
Paul Parisotto, president and CEO of Access Energy, said that he is pleased with the alliances that were created last week.
“The company is absolutely thrilled to be able to negotiate with the Buffalo River Dene Nation,” he said.
“This partnership is one of the first of its kind in
According to Parisotto, the deal will be worth about $35 million dollars over its life.
“That is the number we are estimating that it will take for us to do a thorough exploration of the area,” he said.
“The process will take some time to complete. We don’t expect to be done in six months or even a year.”
Parisotto said the partnership is still in its early stages and that the two entities will work together on the oil and gas project.
“We haven’t put a drill in the ground yet, but ideally, if there is heavy oil found, it will create a lot of full time jobs for people in the area,” he said.
Louie Chinalquay, Chief of BRDN was unable to be reached for comment on the meeting and proceedings as of press time.
Saskatchewan Party MLA June Draude, who acts at the opposition critic for First Nations and Métis Relations was also in attendance at the meeting.
She said she thought it was a groundbreaking step forward for the people in the area.
“I was definitely honoured to witness the event,” she said.
“I think it shows a great deal of open communication and respect between the corporation and the band leadership for a vision for the people in the area. The fact that they were able to work together to figure out this deal speaks volumes about the potential for partnerships in the future.”