At Canadian Natural, we believe that business development within the areas where we operate leads to sustainable community development. Our goal of promoting opportunities for economic participation in the communities has a particular focus on Aboriginal businesses and employment, which in turn helps them build capacity to participate in our operations. We are proud to work with companies that share our strong commitment to worker safety, and that support Aboriginal employment, such as Seven Lakes Oilfield Services.
Seven Lakes is an Aboriginal-owned business operating in the Lakeland region and surrounding areas in Northeast Alberta. Formed in 2002, Seven Lakes started with one hauling truck and a waste management contract. Now, they offer a range of services, including scaffolding, waste management and general oilfield services, and have contracts with several major oil producers.
The company is owned and operated by seven First Nations — Cold Lake, Heart Lake, Frog Lake, Kehewin, Saddle Lake, Goodfish Lake and Beaver Lake, and is a subsidiary of Primco Dene and Pimee Well Servicing Ltd. Cold Lake First Nation owns 50%, and the other six Nations split the other 50% evenly. They currently have 207 employees, 80% of whom are Aboriginal (half of them from the owning Nations).
Canadian Natural has worked with Seven Lakes for the last eight years at our Primrose thermal in situ operations. We are proud to work with a company that shares our strong commitment to people, safety and working together.
“Our main business priority is to provide long-lasting and meaningful employment opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples, to help them succeed in their own territory,” says Mark Larocque, General Manager of Seven Lakes Oilfield Services. “We do this because it is the right thing to do and there is a need for it.”
With people as a priority, their focus on health and safety is another driver of their successful business model. Every morning, employees have a safety meeting to discuss priorities and expectations, with the guidance of their supervisors. These meetings demonstrate the importance of working together and communicating specific issues, further supporting a strong and healthy safety culture. The company’s model is also about growth, and these are some of the tools they use to engage employees and build leadership from within.
Seven Lakes received the Eagle Feather Business Award of Distinction category of the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction in 2010 for demonstrating outstanding achievement in business and incorporating entrepreneurial and cultural concepts into our operations for long term success.