It is always an exciting time for the Onion Lake Lands and Resources Department, as the reserve sits on a vast landscape and always has numerous projects on the go – including a booming oil development.

Onion Lake covers approximately 145,000 acres of land – that’s larger than Saskatoon and Regina combined. With plenty of land to spare Onion Lake has put one of it’s top resources to good use – securing business and development for the band members.

Phase 1 of the Onion Lake SAGD facility is complete and now produces approximately 6,000 BOPD through thermal production, and 2,200 BOPD through primary production. Onion Lake is moving on to phase 2 – approvals have been given and construction is continuing as weather permits – and production looks to increase to approximately 12,000 BOPD.

The Lands Dept. offices are located on-reserve ­– at SE-1-55-1-W4M at Onion Lake Cree Nation band office.The Lands Dept. also has a mapping program that involves a plotter and an autoCAD system computer. This allows the Lands Dept. to print and develop its own maps.

Additional projects include:

  • Seeding program that saw 140 acres of band fields seeded to grass last year. The Lands Dept. hopes to get 2 cuts this year, and band members are able to purchase the brome grass or alfalfa hay bales at less than market value. This year the Lands Dept. is also crop sharing on grass with band members.
  • Assisting on new projects such as new school, land-fill expansion, waste-transfer station and new houses.
  • A draft community development plan was created and will go before Chief and Council for review later this year.
  • Seeking new community graveyard site locations within the reserve.
  • Surface rent reviews almost complete. Rentals increase for our oil and gas surface leases.
  • Monitor the hay-lands claim.
  • Ploughed approximately 40 garden plots for Onion Lake band members.
  • Duty to Consult currently has agreements with different proponents that are operating on Onion Lake traditional territories.
  • Duty to Consult also working on mapping boundaries of Onion Lake territories, Alberta land-use plans, Treaty Six technicians’ meetings on common issues in Alberta, Woodland Caribou Range planning, and site assessments for projects by Imperial Oil, CNRL, Baytex and Meadow Lake OSB.

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