President’s Message – October 17, 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

What an interesting time it is to be involved in Industry and Community Relations. This has been a notable year for CFAR. In the first year of our long awaited Indigenous Community Industry Relations Certificate program (ICIR), delivered by the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension, two of our Indigenous Community Engagement Citation (ICE) grads were honored to be nominated for Indigenous Engagement Awards at the Global Petroleum Show in June. Only one could win – congratulations goes out to CFAR’s member company Seven Lakes Oilfield Services. One of our citation graduates has been selected to serve on the Board of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Corporation. Another is on the Board of Careers – the Next Generation.

Some additional achievements include the Grand Opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Cold Lake – a Cold Lake First Nation Hotel! Dr. Pat Makokis and family engaged in some very solid steps towards reconciliation this summer participating in the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights, which was a journey by foot of 600 km from Kitchener to Ottawa, teaching folks along the way around UNDRIP, the TRC, residential school, etc. Knowing Dr. Makokis, we had all best start training to participate in the next Pilgrimage.

Over the coming year our members can look forward to continued breakfast and evening mixer events in both Calgary and Edmonton, as well as a first ever CFAR event in Cold Lake. We will host our annual December AGM networking event in Calgary, and our Spring Conference, Relational Leadership, at the River Cree June 13th and 14th, following our annual golf tournament at The Ranch Golf and Country Club on June 12th. Our annual Sponsorship and Membership Drives will begin formally in the next few weeks and we thank you for your continued commitment to CFAR, and for helping us to get the word out about our organization, ICIR and ICE and our events.

As the economy begins to show signs of improvement, our community members still face significant challenges, and it is important to remember that the search for viable solutions to the effects of trauma, like the Fentanyl crisis that is impacting many of our communities large and small, is ongoing. Industry has been affected by decisions that were for many years unexpected. LNG and other Energy related decisions and International politics affect us all. Responsible co-development can be extremely beneficial to our communities and our companies. Irresponsible development can be disastrous.  Net Positive’s newest global research is available at on their website here.  We have keen interest in research that echo’s what we have seen in the work of our members and the effects in our communities, across the planet.

We believe that relationships are the most rewarding and efficient way to further our environmental, economic and social objectives and at CFAR, relationships are at the center of our core values and the decisions that guide our direction. As we return to our regular work world after a hot dry summer we find ourselves unable to fully appreciate a lull with the change of seasons as the forest fires in Canada burn out, because of the uncertainty that our neighbours to the south are experiencing with hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

Now more than ever, we must come together to express the basic and vital human qualities of community in the ways that each of us decide. As it has been said, together, we are stronger. I appreciate my relationship with each and every one of you, and wish you a happy, healthy and rewarding year.

Todd (Todd Belot)

President, Board of Directors