Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 92: Business and Reconciliation (92)

Woodland Cree, Obsidian Energy resolve northern Alberta standoff

June 11, 2024

CTV News: Edmonton: The Canadian press – CALGARY – An energy company says a First Nations blockade and standoff that kept it from using an oil lease road has been resolved.

Calgary-based Obsidian Energy says it has reached an agreement in principle with the Woodland Cree First Nation.

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Woodland Cree began blocking the road in February over concerns Obsidian wasn’t keeping it informed about expansion plans on its traditional territory. 

The band was also concerned about earthquakes linked to Obsidian’s activities. 

Obsidian countered that it was being strong-armed into granting the First Nation a monopoly on work at the company’s sites.

Obsidian was granted a court injunction to remove the blockade but local RCMP didn’t move in to enforce it. 

“The company and the (First Nation) engaged in extensive discussions with the help of a mediator to arrive at a fair and equitable agreement that is beneficial to both parties,” said Stephen Loukas, Obsidian Energy’s president and chief executive officer.

The agreement between Obsidian Energy and the Woodland Cree runs through the end of 2025. No other terms were released. 

Obsidian said production from the field that had been shut down during the blockade is being restarted. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 204.