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As TMX enables record oil output, First Nations hope for new chapter – CityNews

April 30, 2024

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Some Indigenous communities in northern Alberta hope the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion willmark the start of a new chapter in their relationship with Canada’s oilsands industry.

The$34 billion pipeline project from Alberta to the B.C. coast promises improved access to export markets for oilsands producers, which are forecast to achieve all-time-high output this year.

The pipeline’s expected opening on May 1 is a big deal for the Fort McKay First Nation, located about an hour’s drive north of Fort McMurray and home to around 800 people of Dene, Cree and Métis descent.

“It matters to the Fort McKay First Nation. When there’s an opportunity like the Trans Mountain pipeline, the question is, how can we actually leverage it to transfer that opportunity to Fort McKay?” said Chief Raymond Powder in an interview.

“Because I’ve shared that with my industry partners across the table from time to time — I’ve said, ‘You know, if you guys want to grow and want to expand and all that, that’s not an issue for us.’”

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