Business & Oilsands(Archives)
Fort McKay Acknowledges and Appreciates Its Many Supporters
On September 8th, the Miskanaw Golf and Country Club in Fort McMurray was packed with eager golfers, volunteers and Fort McKay staff. This annual golf tournament put on by the Fort McKay Group of Companies (FMGOC) is a popular event that sells out year after year.
This was the tenth year for the FMGOC golf tournament and its success can largly be attributed to the support of many of the sponsors that continue to be a part of the tournament with funds going to the Fort McKay Education Program.
Under it’s umbrella, the Fort McKay Education Department includes a number of programs that are offered direclty within the community – all of which are within a strong cultural environment. For the young ones, the Fort McKay school offers kindergarten to grade six. Having a school located close to home supports to build a better relationship with the students, parents and teachers.
It has been said that education is the key to unlocking the doors of opportunity for youth. And for some, these opportunities are hard to come by. However thanks to programs like the E-Learning Centre, high school students that wish to remain in Fort McKay while in high school can do so. Credits are earned as students work under the guidance of a mentor in a classroom environment. They can either participate in online classes or modules through Alberta Distance Learning.
The Canadian Literacy and Learning Network states 42% of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills; this number is even higher for impoverished adults. To help adults obtain their grade 12 equivalency or prepare for employment, Keyano College has a satellite campus in the Dorothy McDonald Learning Centre, based in Fort McKay, equipped as a full functioning classroom.
This past year, Fort McMurray and the entire region lived through a frightening experience that saw the largest evacuation in Alberta’s history. So many people were displaced all across Canada. Many of Fort McKay’s community members made their way to Edmonton. While displaced, a few Fort McKay students and mentors didn’t let the learning stop. “We had students express the desire to want to continue their studies and the mentors were more than willing to continue teaching. Although it wasn’t a typical classroom setting, they were able to find suitable locations to work one-on-one with a number of community students” says Miranda Beaton, Education Director, “it was wonderful to see their dedication and willingness to want to continue learning at such a trying time.”
Although the fire may have temporarily put a stop to the educational programs in the community, the upcoming 2016 / 2017 school year is ready and prepared to continue to fuel Fort McKay’s students of all ages. “We collaborated with our educational partners in Fort McMurray and worked out a plan to support students without disruption going into the next year” Says Miranda Beaton, “this way they are not falling behind and can start fresh.”
The FMGOC, who hosted the golf tournament to raise monies for the education efforts, was founded in 1986 and started with a single janitorial contract, wholly owned by the Fort McKay First Nation; the Group of Companies is one of the largest oilfield construction and services company in Northern Alberta. Now, 30 years later, the Nation celebrates its anniversary in business
In total, there are ten companies in the Fort McKay First Nation portfolio, eight are majority owned and two are fully owned and operated by the Nation. “Fort McKay’s 30 year history of success has been achieved through its commitment to values, strong relationships and rooted in our culture and respect for the environment, which continues to provide the community with employment opportunities, infrastructure, health and social benefits.” says Adam King, CEO, FMGOC “Education is a bit part of our success and moving forward will ensure that the Nation continues to grow and proposer.”
Fort McKay First Nation recognizes and values our strategic business partners and the loyalty of our customers over the past 30 years. The success of FMGOC and its valuable business relations has helped to solidify its pace in the business world.
The support of the sponsors of the FMGOC golf tournament over the years has been exemplary and demonstrates commitment to ensuring that students, young and old, of Fort McKay have access to proper education. Looking forward, this allows opportunity for success and advancement for the next 30 years.