In 2018, the Lubicon Lake Band and Government of Canada came to a historic agreement that recognized the Band’s treaty rights, which were overlooked by treaty commissioners in 1899 when Treaty 8 was finalized, due to the Band’s remote and isolated location. The agreement outlines 15 capital assets to be planned and constructed for the community over an eight-year period to address basic community needs such as safe drinking water, housing, education, health care, and recreation.
Associated Engineering forms part of the project management team for the Lubicon Community Development Project, a collaboration between Bosgoed Project Consultants Ltd. and Manasc Isaac Architects. Associated is the engineering lead responsible for feasibility and pre-design reports for water, wastewater, roads, drainage, street lighting, electrical network, telecommunications, and renewable energy sources. We teamed with Manasc Isaac for delivering the feasibility studies for community buildings, including a new school and health centre. We will also provide project management, assist with procuring design consultants and contractors, and support First Nation training and employment.
Employment Strategy: Our project management approach to the First Nation Training and Employment Strategy is a “100% Opportunity” approach. This approach engages the project managers, architects and engineers to collaborate to identify the labour requirements for the various projects. This allows the Band to prepare and train interested members in the required fields, including investigating opportunities for internship with local trades contractors before the projects start. Already, the Band-owned contracting company, Ventures, has been heavily involved in delivering the seven kilometre Cultural Camp Access Road, Phase 1 housing construction, and environmental remediation activities, in partnership with general contractors.
Health and Safety: The community has no municipal water and wastewater systems. Residents have faced drinking water quality issues for years. Most homes receive truck-hauled water that is delivered to severely deteriorated holding tanks. Some homes do not have functioning water supply systems at all. The community has been advised to use bottled water for drinking, forcing people to drive an hour to Peace River to purchase safe bottled water. Associated completed feasibility studies that identify options to service the core community with piped water and wastewater systems that will resolve years of health and safety concerns.
Environment: Under the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) program, we are managing the environmental remediation of 15 pre-identified sites within Little Buffalo and Haig Lake to acceptable Federal standards and site closure. The clean up of these sites is required for reserve creation and is important for reducing environmental and human health risks in the community. A Detailed Environmental Review Report was also completed as due diligence for funding approval and the reserve creation.
“Our work included extensive baseline field studies, mapping environmental features, and engaging with community Elders and Knowledge Keepers.”- Sandra Meidinger, Manager of our Alberta North Environmental Division
Buildings: Presently the Lubicon people have a school, administrative, health centre and public works buildings. However, the buildings do not contain the space and amenities to meet the current and future needs of the community. Feasibility studies were prepared for a new K-12 school including new teacherages, an Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve facility, an administration building, a health centre, supportive housing for elders, a community recreation building, a public works shop, and a fire hall. New houses for elders, single families and multi-generations are also critically needed. The houses are being constructed in a phased approach. The feasibility study recommends that future housing designs follow the principles of Passive House to minimize heating and cooling costs, and solar energy will be incorporated where possible. Environmental stewardship is a key part of our work. Buildings will be integrated into the natural setting of the community, built with locally sourced timber and will be energy efficient.
Key personnel include Kirsten Davis, Carma Holmes, Chris Parfitt, Akinbola George, Ruben Arellano, Malcolm Shield, Judd Mah, Cheney Lambert, Bryden Coonan, James Sharpe, Richard Walters, Juliana Tang, Nicholai Kristel, Michael Brodzikowski, Sandra Meidinger, Brett Bodeux, Brent Schmidt, Scott Friel, Greg Walker, April Ziegler, and Alicia Chapa.