The Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, located a mere 38.4 kilometres from the bustling energy hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is a community deeply rooted in the rich soil of history and tradition.
It’s a community that looks forward with a vision of pride and cooperation, nurturing its people, culture, and land while thriving on sustainable economic opportunities.
As the Nation strides towards self-sufficiency and a vibrant, healthy community, it is guided by a mission to foster community participation and transparent, accountable leadership. With integrity at the helm, the Nation commits to leading by example, upholding ethics and professionalism, maintaining transparency, demonstrating dedication and reliability, engaging members while staying open-minded, and extending sincerity through actions and words—all while respecting each other and Mother Earth.
The embodiment of these principles is crystallized in the Nikinan Community Centre, aptly named “Our Place” in Cree. Slated to open in late 2024, this centre is not merely a structure of wood and stone but a promise—a promise of a home where the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation’s spirit endures and flourishes.
Indian Beach, a tapestry of traditions and memories, will house the Nikinan Community Centre. This land, where generations have celebrated and practiced sacred ceremonies, will continue to be the backdrop for the community’s life, resounding with the laughter of children, the guidance of elders, and the rhythmic harmony of cultural expression.
Nikinan is poised to serve as the guardian of these traditions, fostering a space for celebration, learning, and growth. Its facilities, blending modern amenities with deep-seated respect for tradition, will further the community’s journey toward progress without forgetting its roots.
Within its welcoming walls, the Artisan Gift and Coffee Shop will offer a space for connection over the warmth of coffee and the showcase of local artisans’ creativity. The Gym will stand as a testament to the community’s strength and resilience, and the Fitness Zone will offer a serene view of the beach and lake, symbolizing the commitment to physical health and wellness.
The Elders Lounge will honour the wisdom of the Nation’s most respected members, providing a space for connection and reflection. The Commercial Kitchen will not only nourish bodies but also souls, keeping traditional recipes and communal dining alive.
The youngest members will have a space to play and learn in the Indoor Playground, designed to nurture their holistic development. The Youth Hub will offer a dynamic environment for teenagers to socialize, learn, and evolve into tomorrow’s leaders.
Central to the Centre’s purpose is the Community Wellness Department, a haven of growth, support, and recovery, offering an array of services aimed at mental health, counselling, and holistic well-being. And, the IGRC department will serve as the dynamic core of the Nation’s engagement with external stakeholders, ensuring the community’s voice is heard and interests are protected.
The Nikinan Community Centre represents where the past, present, and future of the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation converge, a place where every corner, stone, and beam resonates with the spirit of its people.
This centre is a call to action, inviting support for a legacy project that embodies reconciliation and contributes to a living legacy on sacred grounds. By supporting the Nikinan Community Centre, one supports not just a building, but the upliftment of a community, the honouring of a culture, and the nurturing of a brighter future.
For partnership and sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to our Economic Development team at Nikinan@FMFN468.com or call 587.919.6776. Join us in building a home where every member finds their place, and every voice finds an echo, continuing the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation’s legacy for generations to come.
For more information and to view our sponsorship package visit fmfn468.com/nikinan-community centre.
A New Chapter Unfolds: The Grand Opening of Fort McMurray 468 First Nation’s Edmonton Urban Office
On a bright day in August, the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation celebrated a significant stride in our collective journey—the opening of our new Edmonton Urban Office. This new facility at 15107-123 Ave NW, Edmonton is more than a location; it’s a symbol of our community’s tenacity and vision.
The most extraordinary aspect of this milestone is that it was entirely self-financed by our Economic Development Corp. Every dollar invested came from our own resources, a powerful statement of our independence and financial acumen, bolstered by the support and collaboration of our business partners. This is what makes our Urban Office not just a new building, but a landmark of self-reliance.
Our gratitude goes to Elder Robert Cree for blessing our new beginning, and to the Drummers and Dancers who filled our space with cultural vibrancy. Their contributions have woven a thread of our heritage into the very fabric of the office.
This Urban Office is designed to be a hub where our members can access important services and programs with ease—a true extension of our commitment to serve and support our community. It’s a place of welcome, where our Urban Members can find a sense of belonging and connection.
As we invite you to explore and utilize this new space, we celebrate the shared efforts that have brought this vision to life. The Edmonton Urban Office stands as proof of our community’s ability to create lasting change from within.
We are excited to see how this office will help us grow stronger and more connected. We’re stepping into a future shaped by our own hands and hearts, and every member of Fort McMurray 468 First Nation is a key part of this journey. Together, we’re opening doors to new possibilities.
A New Gathering Space Unveiled: The Park & Firepit of Fort McMurray 468 First Nation
On the 24th of August, 2023, the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation community came together to celebrate the opening of a new gathering place—the Park & Firepit—tucked serenely behind the Band Administration Office. It was a day that marked more than the cutting of a ribbon; it was the unveiling of a new communal heart for our Nation.
The success of this venture is attributed to the generous support of our sponsors: Fort McMurray 468 First Nation Economic Development, Prairies Economic Development Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, and Trees Canada. Their contributions have not only made this project a reality but have also sown the seeds for a greener, more connected future. To these pillars of support, we offer our deepest gratitude.
We were privileged to have wisdom shared at our ceremony by voices that resonate deeply with our community. Elder Betty Woodward, Chief Neil Cheecham, Councillor Samantha Whalen, Vanessa Cheeseman from Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Sheila Flint from Trees Canada all spoke, their words weaving a tapestry of inspiration and unity.
The ceremony’s soul was undoubtedly the performance of our Drummers and Dancers. Their art, echoing the rhythm of our land and people, blessed the new space with vitality and reverence.
This Park and Firepit is more than a physical space; it is a testament to what we can accomplish together. It stands as a beacon of community and progress, embodying the values of unity and togetherness that are central to our identity. It is here that we will come together to share stories and warmth, to celebrate our culture, and to create memories that will last through the ages.
Our gratitude extends to everyone who played a role in this journey. As we look to the horizon, we are filled with anticipation for the growth and communal joy that will bloom in this new space. Here, in the heart of our beautiful community, we will gather, grow, and celebrate the enduring spirit of the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation.
Economic Development Overview:
The Economic Development Corporation is an autonomous organization affiliated with the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, established with a mission to guide and amplify business development opportunities. Since its inception in April 2022, the team has been at the forefront of fostering business ventures and solidifying partnerships, both for the Nation and its suite of companies.
Our endeavours are in lockstep with the Nation’s Eight Community Pillars, aiming to propel the economic vitality of the Nation. We are focused on creating joint business ventures and exploring equity opportunities, all underpinned by robust and strategic partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to generate revenue that directly reinvests into Member programs and services, housing, and infrastructure, ensuring enduring prosperity for the Nation and its Members for years to come.
Councillor Samantha Whalen, our Chief Business Development Officer, encapsulates our vision: “We are excited to contribute to the sustainable growth of our Nation, meet infrastructure needs, and support vital programs and services to promote the personal growth, healing, and well-being of our Members.”
Our efforts are an extension of the success story that began in 1987 with the Fort McMurray First Nation Group of Companies. This conglomerate has significantly contributed to the financial health of the Nation, offering services in Construction, Custodial, Transportation, and running a Petro-Canada Fuel & Convenience Store. The Group’s success in establishing robust partnerships across various sectors has not only fostered meaningful employment for Nation Members but has also expanded the service offerings.
With a collaborative spirit, the newly formed Economic Development team and the Group of Companies are poised to continue expanding their successful ventures.
The Board of Directors, featuring Chief Neil Cheecham and Councillor Samantha Whalen, Vice President Ryan Coish, alongside a dedicated team of Business Development Managers — Fred Cree, Jonathan Ross, and Chad Shkopich — are committed to steering the Nation towards a future where economic stability and growth go hand in hand with the wellbeing of its Members.
Currently, there are 29 business partnerships within the group.