Indigenous Success Stories

Business and Reconciliation (92)

Astisiy – a joint partnership betwen Suncor and 8 Indigenous communities

September 25, 2021

The Financial Post – A $40-million partnership deal between eight Indigenous communities and Suncor Energy Ltd. is being hailed as an economic shot in the arm for the Northern Alberta communities, as they unite to buy a stake in a pipeline crucial to the energy giant’s oil sands operations. Those involved in the deal say the Indigenous energy partnership is a sign of things to come in the oil sector, which has long grappled with ensuring proper consultations over energy projects. Under the arrangement, announced Thursday, a joint Suncor-Indigenous partnership called Astisiy will buy 15 per cent of the Northern Courier Pipeline from TC Energy.
The remaining 85-per-cent stake in the pipeline remains in the hands of Alberta’s investment manager, Alberta Investment Management Corp., or AIMCo, which purchased it two years ago.

All eight communities are based in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which sits in the northeast corner of the province and takes in Fort McMurray. The partnership is expected to generate gross annual revenue of about $16-million for its partners. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Indigenous communities’ buy-in of Northern Courier is supported by a loan guarantee of up to $40-million from Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp., or AIOC.

It’s the third major infrastructure deal backed by the AIOC, a Crown corporation established by Alberta’s United Conservative government as part of a 2019 election campaign. “This was an extraordinarily strong deal,” she said. “It really is an example of the type of Indigenous-to-industry partnership that the AIOC would be pleased to do over and over again.” Alicia Dubois, CEO of AIOC.

Astisiy is made up of:

  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation,
  • Chipewyan Prairie First Nation
  • Conklin Métis Local #193,
  • Fort Chipewyan Métis Local #125
  • Fort McKay Métis Nation,
  • Fort McMurray Métis
  • Fort McMurray #468 First Nation
  • Willow Lake Métis Nation and
  • Suncor.