CEO Outlook Magazine

Steve Jani | CEO | Fort McMurray First Nation Group of Companies

Steve Jani


" I consider we still are learning every day by meeting new people and understanding different values and visions of clients. A piece of advice I would give everyone is never stop learning. "

Teaching Value & Integrity

The Fort McMurray First Nation Group of Companies is the wholly owned business entity of Fort McMurray 468 First Nation. It was established in 1987 as Christina River Enterprises, and the organization rebranded as FMFN Group in 2021. Providing Construction, Custodial, Petro-Canada Fuel & Convenience Store, and Transportation services to a broad portfolio of customers, the Group of Companies is creating financial stability and prosperity for the Nation.

Steve Jani is the CEO of Fort McMurray First Nation Group of Companies and has been a pioneer in leading the organization. The best way to explain Steve’s leadership qualities is through his values of STIC—Safety, Teamwork, Integrity, and Communication.

  • Safety and Corporate HSE are essential for Steve, who has supported the revamp of Safety Manual and systems to bring the organization to industry standards.
  • Teamwork, without the support of all aspects of the business from the top down to the entry-level, an organization does not function.
  • Integrity is essential for the steadfast leader, which he follows by holding himself pure, open, and truthful about the organization and himself and setting a prime example.
  • Communication is vital as any information is better than no given; if the employees know the organization’s pulse, they are all involved.

A Brilliant Leader

Steve is a support system for budding entrepreneurs trying hard to establish themselves. “It is the opportunity for leaders such as ourselves to mentor budding entrepreneurs and help them be successful, in turn there will be times in future where collaboration will be needed,” says Steve. “Having worked for so many good leaders in the past, you take best business practices and leadership qualities and transfer them into the organization you lead. Although there are these to consider, a person carries their own leadership qualities. A great example is team sports such as hockey, being a captain of a team and learning teamwork and leadership is key for me, and that is what I impart to my teams.”

For Steve, success is what a person defines it as. “I consider we still are learning every day by meeting new people and understanding different values and visions of clients. A piece of advice I would give everyone is never stop learning.”

With this mindset, Steve has led the organization toward great heights. The FMFN Group offers a diverse selection of 100% Nation-owned and operated services. Located on the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, they are committed to growing their business through providing quality work with a steadfast commitment to safety while creating the prosperity needed to work towards becoming a self-sufficient Nation.

Building A Brand

The most significant enhancements in FMFN Group are in IT and programs; bringing systems into this day and age is critical in moving forward. “Using outdated systems will put an organization behind and trying to catch up. New programs can optimize your company, so I make it my mission to provide the best solutions to my team,” explains Steve. “Two biggest achievements for FMFN Group have been achieving safety, bringing an organization with in industry standards and better is a huge accomplishment, and supporting your leaders and management staff in succeeding. Not Micromanaging, giving them the tools to lead and the positive support.”

Recently, The Fort McMurray 468 First Nation (FMFN468) and Fort McMurray First Nation Group of Companies (Group of Companies) are pleased to share their joint 2021 Sustainability Report to the Community. Capturing the stories and voices of the Nation, the inaugural report showcases how the Nation’s leadership and Group of Companies, its employees and industry partners are working together to build a vibrant, resilient, and self-sufficient community.

“Guided by our eight community pillars, and with our Group of Companies as an important revenue generator, we are supporting the sustainable growth of our Nation, meeting infrastructure needs, and delivering a full range of programs and services to promote the personal growth, healing, and wellbeing of our Members,” says Chief Neil Cheecham. This report lays the foundation for the Group of Companies’ 2022 Indigenous Environmental, Social and Governance (IESG) Report, identifying commitments and baseline metrics to advance company performance, investment stability, and improved social outcomes for the Nation. FMFN Group sees 2023 as a very busy year and welcome the opportunities that are forthcoming. We are here to bring our expertise to our clients to make them a better organization as well.

Indigenous Communities and Enbridge Announce Landmark Equity Partnership

Enbridge Inc. and 23 First Nation and Métis communities recently announced an agreement whereby the communities will acquire, collectively, an 11.57% non-operating interest in seven Enbridge-operated pipelines in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta for $1.12 billion.

A newly created entity, Athabasca Indigenous Investments (Aii), will steward this investment, which represents the largest energy-related Indigenous economic partnership transaction in North America to date.

“We are very pleased to be joining our Indigenous partners in this landmark collaboration,” said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge. “We believe this partnership exemplifies how Enbridge and Indigenous communities can work together, not only in stewarding the environment, but also in owning and operating critical energy infrastructure. We are looking forward to working with the Aii and deepening our relationship well into the future. This also fully aligns with our priority to recycle capital at attractive valuations, which can be used to fund numerous growth opportunities within our conventional and low carbon platforms.”

This investment by Aii also fits well with commitments Enbridge made in its recently released Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (IRAP), building on a growing track record of engagement with Indigenous communities and employees. The IRAP incorporates advice into facility siting, environmental and cultural monitoring, employment, training and procurement opportunities and, most recently, financial partnerships such as the proposed Wabamun Carbon Hub.

Pipelines included in the transaction are the Athabasca, Wood Buffalo/Athabasca Twin and associated tanks; Norlite Diluent; Waupisoo; Wood Buffalo; Woodland; and the Woodland extension. These assets are underpinned by long-life resources and long-term contracts, which provide highly predictable cash flows.

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