Justin Bourque

Justin Bourque

41 Years Old

Class of 2022

Justin is a young and innovative entrepreneur who is dedicated to promoting and protecting Métis heritage.

His strong leadership and work ethic make him a valued member of the community. He is the CEO of Willow Lake Métis Nation and President of the Willow Lake Métis Group, and he recently sat down with YMM to talk about his life as one of this year’s Top 50 Under 50.

YMM: What keeps you in Fort McMurray?

JB: To be clear, I am from Anzac, this region provided for my family long before the oil sands development, and they continue to provide for our traditional Métis lifestyle. These lands carry rich history and culture. Thankfully for the Acknowledgment of the Truth and Desire for Reconciliation, many who now call modern-day Fort McMurray home are only just now getting to understand the depths of just how amazing our region truly is. I am honoured to be a modern-day Indigenous leader of this region and to promote and share our culture and the history of these lands with others while continuing to maintain my traditional lifestyle.

YMM: What is the best advice that you ever received?

JB: I have two that have always stood out to me. “Never stand around and watch another person work!” – Thanks, Dad. “You might have to work twice as hard as someone with a university degree, but it doesn’t mean you cannot achieve the same results…”

YMM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

JB: Hands down, my kids… and making lemonade when life hands you lemons!

YMM: For what are you most grateful?

JB: To be raised in a traditional Métis lifestyle and to be able to continue to live, share and teach that lifestyle/culture today.

YMM: What is something that people are always surprised to learn about you?

JB: That I am the third generation owner and actively run our family trapline, and I try to live a traditional and sustainable lifestyle.

YMM: What is the biggest challenge you’ve taken on this year?

JB: Aquiring land for the Willow Lake Métis Nation.

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