Indigenous Partners

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 in conjunction with the Nation to coordinate and execute all regulatory requirements and ensure respectful dialogues that mitigate any impact on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.


About the Nation


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 the 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 2000s, 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.


About the Nation


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.


About the Nation


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.



The Willow Lake Métis Nation goals include community support and engagement, development of a sustainable business department, and building a resilient community. This is the first partnership of the Willow Lake Metis and is foundational to the success of the community goals.   


About the Nation


Willow Lake Métis is a community in northeastern Alberta whose members mainly reside in and around the community of Anzac, AB on the shores of Gregoire (Willow) Lake. Located in the heart of the Oilsands the Willow Lake Métis is a section 35 Aboriginal rights-bearing community, an Indigenous people of Canada, and the contemporary successor to the historical Métis community that existed prior to the date of effective colonial control in Alberta.



The strategic partnership seeks to capitalize on opportunities within the Homeland of the Metis Nation, including mining, energy infrastructure, power generation, and municipal infrastructure.


This new partnership includes a stand-alone joint venture arrangement with the MMF’s operating arm, Metis N4 Construction, a diversified Project Management Construction corporation owned by Metis Economic Development Trust. The new joint venture partnership has fifteen tangible projects on the horizon, including the Wanipigow Silica Sand Extraction Project and the Saskatchewan River Delta project. The new joint-venture partnership strengthens the ability of Metis N4 Construction to win and execute projects by increasing capacity and driving competency.  


About the Nation


Founded in 1967, the Manitoba Metis Federation is the democratic and self-governing representative of the Metis Nation’s Manitoba’s Metis Community.  The Manitoba Metis are Canada’s negotiating partners in Confederation and are the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.  The MMF’s governance structure is comprised of seven Regions within Manitoba each of which are divided into up to 20 Locals.  These Regions include Southeast, Interlake, Northwest, Winnipeg, Southwest, The Pas, and Thompson.


For more information about the Manitoba Metis Federation, visit



The strategic partnership will create strategic social and business synergies and explore regional opportunities in a variety of sectors such as oil and gas, mining, transportation, tourism and hospitality, residential, resort, and commercial development.


Steel River Group will work towards building and maintaining a long and prosperous relationship with the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 that creates opportunities and sustainability for its people and Homeland.


About the Nation


The mandate of the Métis Nation of Alberta – Region 3, supports and promotes economic growth opportunities and practices of transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness for Métis Albertans in governments’ policy and decision-making processes, and overall, promotes and facilitates the advancement of Métis people through self-reliance, self- determination, and self-management.


Since 2006, the Métis population has grown by 51.2%. The Métis are one of the fastest-growing populations in Canada with a population of 587,545 in 2016. Alberta today accounts for more than 114,370 Métis living in the province.


Our Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 Regional council consists of 6 Métis locals located in Calgary, Rocky Mountain House, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Pincher Creek.


For more information about MNA – Region 3, visit