Steel River acknowledges that First Nations, Inuit, and Metis all play a critical role in the stewardship of Canada’s natural resources and economic development. We believe each partner brings tremendous value to the Steel River Ecosystem, and we are committed to working together for positive social, cultural, and economic change.
Steel River acknowledges and respects that each Indigenous partner has its own unique history, beliefs, and expertise and strives to create long-lasting partnerships grounded in respect, understanding, and collaboration. Through the exploration of shared opportunities, we hope to forge a prosperous path forward for all.
Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation of Treaty 6 land through our minority interest in Backwoods Energy Services. As a Nation-owned business, Backwoods Energy Services works arm and arm with the Nation to coordinate and execute all regulatory requirements and ensure respectful dialogues that mitigates any impact to Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
The Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation was Steel River Group’s first Indigenous Partner to become part of its Ecosystem in 2016. Members of Alexis are of the Stoney or “Nakota ethnic group” and are the most northwestern part of the Siouan language family. Alexis members refer to themselves as “Nakota”, meaning friend or ally. The Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation entered Treaty 6 in 1877 and has 1800 members across four reserves in Alberta. Its traditional territory is from the Cardinal River to the south along the foothills and Rocky Mountains beyond Whitecourt and Swan Hills in the north, reaching east past Barrhead.
Beginning in 1986, Backwoods was a forestry contractor that specialized in remote locations along the Northwestern coast of British Columbia. In the 1990s, Backwoods began to diversify into other forestry related services and in the early 2000’s, Backwoods transitioned its focus in the North Western Albertan energy industry. In late 2014, the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, acquired a majority ownership position in Backwoods Energy Services.
Today, Backwoods Energy Services is 100% Indigenous-owned and the largest Indigenous-Community owned company in NW Alberta.
Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Little Shuswap Lake Band. Through this relationship, Steel River Group and Little Shuswap Lake Band will collaborate to advance projects that are mutually beneficial for the economic interests of all stakeholders through a respectful and transparent relationship, that is aligned through shared values.
Little Shuswap Lake Band (LSLB) has recently demonstrated a successful model for improving the economic interests of the region through recreation, hospitality, resource development, and construction. SRG will work closely with the community to continue this momentum, by providing LSLB with an expanded scope of service offerings while delivering additional capacity to its existing businesses and operations.
Working with Little Shuswap Lake Band, Steel River Group will collaborate with Chief and Council, the Economic Development Group and Band Member-owned businesses. Steel River Group, through its subsidiaries and relationships, seeks to augment and build upon the strong economic foundation created in the region by Little Shuswap Lake Band.
Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Stoney Nakoda Nation. Through this relationship, Steel River Group will collaborate with the Stoney Tribal Administration and Band Member-owned businesses. Steel River Group, through its subsidiaries and relationships, will also provide Stoney Nakoda Nations with an expanded scope of services and deliver additional capacity to its businesses and operations. In partnership, Stoney Nakoda Nations and Steel River Group will work to strengthen and advance mutually benefiting economic interests through a respectful and transparent relationship that’s aligned in shared values.
The Stoney Nakoda First Nations are composed of the Bearspaw First Nation, the Chiniki First Nation, and the Wesley First Nation. The Stoney Nakoda are part of the Sioux-Assiniboine Stoney language continuum and speak the Nakoda language. They are the original “people of the mountains”, the “Iyarhe Nakoda”. The Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley Nations were each parties to Treaty No. 7, made in 1877, but have inhabited their traditional areas along the Rocky Mountain corridor for generations. Oral history says that they have been there since time immemorial. Today the Nations share governance over reserve lands at Morley, Eden Valley, Rabbit Lake and Big Horn, Alberta. Stoney Nakoda Nation members continue to practice their traditional ceremonies, culture, language, values and way of life; living in harmony within the context of modern times.
Aseniwuche Winewak Nation is well positioned for growth and economic development as a result of emerging industries and opportunities local to its traditional territory, including its fully operational fabrication shop. Steel River Group will work alongside the Nation to capture these opportunities by bolstering capacity and backend structures, increasing the ability to capitalize on future ventures.
Working with Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, Steel River Group will collaborate with youth and elders, elected officials, the economic development group and band member-owned businesses to fully understand their long-term goals and vision. Steel River Group, through its subsidiaries and relationships, will seek to augment and build upon the economic opportunities in AWN’s traditional and surrounding areas.
Aseniwuche Winewak Nation (AWN) is a provincially incorporated not-for-profit society representing seven Indigenous communities in Grande Cache, Alberta. Formed in 1994, AWN represents 350+ members who share a unique history and ancestry as descendants of various Indigenous groups, including Sekani, Dene-saa and Iroquois.