Business Development Corporation
The Onion Lake Business Development Corporation is an organization consisting of eight companies formed by the Onion Lake Cree Nation Council. The goal for BDC is to generate wealth for the community while maintaining professional and effective management of the business assets.
All the companies involved are committed to seeking sustainable, profitable growth by conducting business with a high degree of ethics. Strengthening First Nation employment is one of the main objectives, but managing business in a manner which imparts value to the investment of business partners, and striving for a work environment which promotes fairness, dignity and respect for all are also key goals.
The eight companies that form the BDC are:
All Nations Building Supplies
Established in 2009 by the Onion Lake Cree Nation to provide building materials to the local housing market, All Nations Building Supplies has quickly grown and now supplies building materials to neighbouring communities as well as the Onion Lake market. Since its inception All Nations Building Supplies has been a member of the Castle Building Materials Group – which ensures the store has access to competitive pricing and reliable supplies of all types of building materials. Today the company employs approximately 10 people, and also has a fleet of delivery vehicles to ensure fast and reliable service.
Askiy Apoy Hauling Ltd.
Founded in 2008 to provide services for the local oil and gas industry, Askiy Apoy Hauling has grown to become one of the largest employers in Onion Lake. The company started with an inventory of three lease operators and three trailers, and now has a fleet of 56 trailers. Safety is also held in very high regard within the company, as Askiy Apoy is part of the COR recognition program through ENFORM, as well as the ISNetwork safety network. Looking forward Askiy Apoy is hoping to assist other First Nations in achieving the same sustainability and employment opportunities as it has done for Onion Lake. The company is hoping to obtain other work operations outside of Onion Lake and to eventually become a key player in the oilfield hauling industry.
Beretta Pipeline Construction
Beretta Pipeline Construction has a long history in the oil and gas, civil construction and environmental industries – a history which began in 1977. Since then the company has been purchased by Onion Lake Energy Ltd and grown into a diversified company working all across Western Canada. Today the company provides facility construction and infrastructure services – including road construction, utility installation and environmental reclamation. Each of the company’s divisions – environmental remediation, aggregate, civil construction, pipeline construction, oil and gas facility construction and oilfield maintenance – can also be integrated with other divisions to ensure the full needs of a project are met.
Makaoo Mall Developments Ltd.
Beginning as a grocery and convenience store in 1989, Makaoo Mall Developments has grown by leaps and bounds to include Makaoo Mall, Makaoo Gas Bar, East-Central Confectionary, East-Central Tire Repair and the Canada Post Office. Makaoo Mall Developments is also very unique in that it is a First Nation’s retail business that must deal with both Alberta finance and Saskatchewan finance to receive its tax rebate.
Onion Lake Gas Co-op Ltd.
Starting in 1996 – when a historical agreement was signed between Indian Oil and Gas and the Onion Lake Cree Nation – the Onion Lake Gas Cooperative is the first natural gas company in Saskatchewan owned and operated by a First Nations group. The Onion Lake Gas Co-op became a limited partnership in 2010, and is now responsible for installing and maintaining underground natural gas lines, meters and its RMO dehydration unit. The company distributes natural gas to 856 units including OLCN resident homes, commercial/business enterprises and band-owned administrative buildings. The company also provides bobcat services, trenching, and light truck and trailer hauling services.
Onion Lake Enterprises Ltd.
The goal for Onion Lake Enterprises (OLE) is to plan and establish a commercially viable business which provides employment opportunities for Onion Lake band members. The main venture thus far is a janitorial company that has been operating for 23 years. The staff consists of 33 people, and the company currently contracts with the Husky Upgrader in Lloydminster, Onion Lake community buildings and four Onion Lake schools. Onion Lake Enterprises services also include a restaurant located in Onion Lake which employs five people.
Onion Lake Oil Well Servicing
Onion Lake Well Servicing (OLWS) was established in 2012 with the first rig commissioned and working in the field by January 2013, and Rig 2 going in service one year later. These are custom built rigs with 72’ stiff masts and Kin rig 38×10 draw works that are capable of working to 1600m depth and a static hook load of 62,000 kg. With lower oil prices there is a decrease in work, but OLWS has managed to stay afloat. Rig 1 continues to work in the field and the company is making all efforts to explore new markets for Rig 2. The company maintains a full-time staff of six crew members on Rig 1, and each employee has all necessary safety tickets.
Onion Lake Vacuum & Pressure
Founded in 2011 as a division of Askiy Apoy Fluid Hauling, Onion Lake Vacuum & Pressure (OLVP) has since expanded beyond that to become its own company. In 2011 the OLVP fleet consisted of 1 pressure truck and 3 semi-vac units. Now OLVP operates its own office and repair ship based in Lloydminster, and the company provides tank cleaning, and vacuum and pressure truck services for oilfield customers in the Onion Lake region. The company has also expanded to include a fleet of eight semi-vac units and four pressure trucks.