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 relationships grounded in respect, understanding, and collaboration. Through the exploration of shared opportunities, we hope to forge a prosperous path forward for all.




As our oldest relationship, Steel River Group is keenly focused on supporting the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. Our common vision and values ensure we create a lasting relationship built on trust, mutual respect, collaboration, and accountability. Through our proven Ecosystem model, Steel River Group was instrumental in advancing the economic development company of the Alexis Nation, Backwoods Energy Services. This included increasing topline revenue and maximizing Indigenous employment. In June of 2021, Steel River Group sold its minority interest back to the Alexis and is now 100% owned by the community.


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.



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.




Skwlax Resource Management allows for collaborative exploration into the vast opportunities that are present in the Little Shuswap Lake Band’s Traditional Territory including the greater Shuswap region, areas of the Thompson Nicola Region, Revelstoke, and east to the Alberta Border.


With the strength of Steel River’s Business model, relationships, and back end structure, and Little Shuswap Lake Band’s progressive leadership and vision, this new strategic company will see rapid success in the region and capture opportunities in the areas of: highway construction, civil construction, railways, gas, municipal infrastructure services, matting, various forestry services, Language and Cultural preservation, and continued resort development. 




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.



Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Willow Lake Metis. The Willow Lake Métis Nations’ 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 joint entity explores business opportunities in the regions of the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Lac La Biche, Anzac, Fort McMurray, Cold Lake, and North East Saskatchewan within the oil & gas, mining, civil, infrastructure, environmental, and water care sectors.




Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Manitoba Metis Federation. 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 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

Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it (TOBACCO PLAINS INDIAN BAND)


Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it (Tobacco Plains Indian Band). The partnership with Tobacco Plains enhances Synergistic Exploration and Expansion of New Markets in the Southeast Region of British Columbia. Steel River Group will work with Tobacco Plains and provide a diverse scope of services, collaborating with the community to focus on building capacity to create economic sustainability, and driving long term employment opportunities for Tobacco Plains and its people.


About the Nation


Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it (Tobacco Plains Indian Band) is a small but diverse First Nation located in the southeast region of British Columbia adjacent to the 49th parallel.  Nestled between the base of the Rocky Mountains to the east and Lake Koocanusa to the west, their territory is centered on the Kootenay River extending east through the Castle region and as far south beyond the Flathead.  Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it is surrounded by the beauty of the land that has sustained and protected their people for centuries.  Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it pride themselves in their connection to the land, to the animals, and to each other with their identity rooted deeply in family, the land, their language, and culture.


For more information about Tobacco Plains visit:



Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Bearspaw First Nation. This partnership will extend that existing relationship to strengthen and advance the economic interests of the Nation through a respectful and transparent relationship – one that is built on shared values, with a focus on Collective Impact initiatives and People-Public-Private-Partnership (P4) Projects. This partnership is an important step towards economic self-sufficiency for Bearspaw, which is one of the Nation’s long-term goals.


About the Nation


Located in Morley, AB at the pristine foot of the Rocky Mountains and in Eden Valley, AB nestled between the Rockies, southern foothills and the Highwood River; Bearspaw operates a travel centre on the Alberta #1 highway, including a Tim Hortons and Esso. Additionally, they are co-owners of the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino.



Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Chiniki First Nation. The partnership with will strengthen and advance the Nation with the goal of becoming economically self-sufficient. This will be achieved through the implementation of Steel River’s People-Public-Private-Partnership (P4) model for future development projects, with a focus on collective impact initiatives centered around Steel River’s core values of care, accountability, respect, integrity, collaboration and trust.


About the Nation


Located in Morley, Alberta, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains 25 minutes West of Calgary; Chiniki operates a Smitty’s Restaurant located at the crossroads of the Trans-Canada Highway and Morley Road. Inside the building, one can find the Chiniki Cultural Centre. Additionally, they are co-owners of the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino



Steel River Group has proudly partnered with the Black Lake Denesuline First Nation. The partnership with Black Lake will champion the cultural, social, and economic wellbeing of the community by advancing and expanding the Nation’s current interests. This will be accomplished by working collaboratively on projects with industry in the region, specifically in mining. This partnership will see Steel River implement their People-Public-Private-Partnership (P4) model keeping a focus on the preservation of cultural and traditional values and economic sustainability for the people there.


About the Nation


Black Lake Denesuline First Nation is located in Northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin region, approximately 1,180 km northwest of Prince Albert and is home to the Fond du Lac, Stony Rapids, Black Lake, Hatchet Lake, Wollaston Lake, Camsell Portage and Uranium City communities. The First Nation owns numerous businesses including Elizabeth Falls Hydro, Black Lake Development, Black Lake Ventures, and Waterfound Development Corp.



Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Pakuashipi Innu Nation. Through the formation of a collaborative economic development vehicle, Steel River will work with Pakuashipi and neighbouring communities to identify and realize opportunities to create sustainable employment and revenue-generating possibilities for the wider region, while helping to diversify and bolster the economy of the Lower North Shore.


The unique Pakuashipi region holds ample opportunity in a variety of sectors, however, to date, diversifying the local economy has been logistically challenging because of the remoteness of the region. Steel River CEO, Trent Fequet, is a proud Inuit from the Region and knows not only the challenges the area has faced, but also the enormous potential the area possesses. Through this deeper understanding, Steel River will work collaboratively with the community to advance the cultural, social, and economic vision of Pakuashipi.


About the Nation


Pakuashipi Innu Nation is a community on the Lower North Shore in Quebec. Pakuashipi has been around for centuries and is one of 15 communities spread across the Lower North Shore of Quebec. It is home to a resilient, resourceful, and diverse group made up of Pakuashipi Innu, Inuit, and people of European descent.



Steel River Group has proudly partnered with Loon River First Nation, the partnership will diversify the Loon River’s economic portfolio by expanding into regional industries such as logging, reclamation, and environmental while leveraging the community’s traditional knowledge and experience. 


Steel River will support the cultural, social, and economic vision of Loon River by advocating for and advancing the interests of the community with industry. The partnership will also build capacity and increase employment in the region by identifying and realizing economic opportunities for development. With its geographic location central to the Northern Alberta energy sector, Loon River is well-positioned to capitalize on a myriad of possibilities in the oil and gas sector. This will be enhanced through the development and expansion of a Nation-owned economic vehicle.



About the Nation


Loon River, located on Treaty 8 territory in Alberta, is comprised of three reserves: Loon Lake 235, Loon Prairie 237 and Swampy Lake 236. In addition to Loon River Contracting, Loon River also operates Loon River Trucking, which has serviced the oil and gas industry in western Canada for over 20 years.



The partnership with Peepeekisis Cree Nation focuses its efforts on advancing the Nation’s long-term economic interests inside the traditional territory of Treaty #4, while fostering the renewal of their culture, expanding their land-based education, and promoting the revitalization of their language.


The collaboration between Steel River Group and Peepeekisis Cree Nation will generate sustainable benefits back to its Members through focused opportunity exploration in resource development, agriculture, construction, renewables, housing, and irrigation.  The Nation will be synergized with Steel River Group’s Ecosystem companies, partners, and relationships, offering a wide scope of opportunities and vision for the future.


About the Nation


The Peepeekisis Cree Nation is a signatory of Treaty #4 in 1874. Located in the traditional territory of Treaty#4 that spans thousands of kilometers traversing the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta, the Peepeekisis Cree Nation is home to many distinct cultural groupings.