YMM: Tell us about Acden — how it started, and the work it does in the region.
Acden: In 1994, Tony Mercredi was Chief of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. During that time, Syncrude and Suncor were gearing up to expand their oil sands operations. This accelerated the growth of economic opportunity for Indigenous communities in the region. Chief Mercredi realized the opportunity to develop a business arm that could help the Nation achieve financial independence.
That year, working together with Syncrude, Chief Mercredi established our founding company Denesoline Environment. The company started with one truck and 10 employees performing waste management services on-site. One opportunity led to another and ACFN Business Group was formed, eventually rebranding in 2012 as Acden. Since 1994, Acden has worked to meet the same founding goals: to ensure a strong, sustainable future for ACFN and to achieve service excellence. With the continued guidance of ACFN Chief and Council, the administrative team at Acden keeps the vision of Chief Mercredi alive while adapting to an ever-changing economy, industry and region. – Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
YMM: At Your McMurray Magazine, we’re passionate about sharing and celebrating the stories of the people who live, work, and play here. Why was becoming Presenting Partner of Top 50 Under 50 important to you?
Acden: As an Indigenous corporation, our traditional values stem from looking after each other and prospering as a community. We are honoured to be part of this effort to celebrate trailblazers in our community who positively impact the lives of those who live, work and play in the region.
Congratulations to the nominees and award winners and thank you to all individuals who contribute to building an inclusive, sustainable, successful and kind community in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.
YMM: This year’s Top 50 Under 50 recipients are a diverse group of impact-makers. From your perspective, what are some of the most meaningful ways people can contribute positively to the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region?
Acden: Community support comes in many forms like volunteering and sharing time, skillsets, and other resources for the benefit of others. There are fantastic resources like woodbuffalovolunteers.ca
that list volunteer opportunities and upcoming community events. Do some research into what groups or organizations require support and contribute however you’re able. Last but not least, remember that even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge impact.