Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

Diverse Relations of People, Oil, and Place (2007-2009)



Tradesperson, Resident for Less than a Year, Interprovincial Move, Refugee from Sub-Saharan Africa, 20s

“I came in Canada in 2001 and I have been staying in Winnipeg for 5 years. I spent my high school down there and then I worked in a company. I worked part time while I was going to high school. After I finished my high school I was having a lot of problem at home because my parents [back in Africa], they were kind of poor. They are old now and my family they need a lot of money so I decided to come to Fort McMurray. So what I did before I come to Fort McMurray I went to college and took a welding course. . .Ya, I hear on the news all the time, on CBC sometimes they did a show: there’s a lot of work here in Fort McMurray.  So I decide to come here. I just came here, I didn’t know nobody so when I came here I get a job, they put me in the camp.  Same again last year and then I told them that I’m leaving. They tried to put me in a camp.  I say I don’t like the camp because too many people in there and too small, too, so I decide to stay in town with some of my friends.” 

“No it’s not my home. I don’t call it home. It’s just a place to make money and then anytime I will go. Because we are all here in Fort McMurray to make money. Only to make money, ya. If there is no money, not going to come to Fort McMurray. Not a good place to be. . .When I was in Winnipeg I used to go to church every Sunday. Like when I came to Fort McMurray, I never went to church because there’s no time. I work Sunday, I work every time.”


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