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Promoting diversity at Cold Lake

A diverse workplace promotes knowledge-sharing and innovation, both of which are essential to any successful project.

Our Cold Lake operation is an oil sands development in Alberta, Canada, which has produced more than 1 billion barrels of oil since its startup in the mid-1980s. As part of this operation, we are working to develop the Aboriginal workforce through involvement and employment opportunities. Aboriginal people in Canada are First Nations, Inuit and Metis people who are indigenous to the country.

The Native Internship Program at Cold Lake provides paid, on-the-job training for Aboriginal people for up to two years. Interns complete a comprehensive program, including on-site training and power engineering and millright courses. Each intern is assigned an Aboriginal mentor from the Imperial Native Network who helps them make a successful transition from their community life to the workplace.

A group of Aboriginal employees formed the Imperial Native Network in 1991. In addition to mentoring interns, the network provides academic achievement awards and scholarships for Aboriginal students. Today, the network includes 35 active employees that maintain supportive relationships with Aboriginal communities in our geographic area, and create training and academic programs that help develop a pool of qualified Aboriginal people.

Also in place at Cold Lake is the Women in Wage Network, which the women employed at the site created in 1991. The network expanded in 1993 to include all of the area’s conventional operations. Members participate in school visits, career fairs and scholarship programs, and serve as mentors to other women working in nontraditional oil and gas roles. Through these programs, women and minorities working at our operation have the opportunity to succeed and grow.