The Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation has acquired a majority stake in a Whitecourt-based oil and gas construction services company.
Paul Poscente, Executive Chairman for Backwoods Energy Services, says the move is really just cementing a relationship that’s been working informally for the past five years, as they’re one of the main employers of band members.
“Alexis will eventually own 100 per cent of Backwoods, based on certain milestones and structured payments. We just want to make sure that there’s enough infrastructure and management capacity, so that transfer is seamless.”
It’s expected that could happen in the next three to five years.
Poscente adds it’s a rare opportunity for the First Nation to build a permanent owned asset for future generations.
“I think it’s a great model for different communities to begin to achieve independence and self-sustainability. It’s not easy to put together in terms of capacity.”
At this point, Alexis will oversee day to day operations and set the vision for the business, which has been around for 30 years.
Backwoods also has locations in Calgary and Smithers, B.C.