Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

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



Driver, Resident for More than a Decade, Intraprovincial Move, Aboriginal, 40s

“Basically, right out from high school I came up here.  I haul truck, Fort Mac down to Edmonton five nights a week one week, and then the second week I run back and forth four days out of the week.  And it’s just basically hauling a lot of stuff for the plants – parts, motors, whatever, other supplies they need out at site, and then of course stuff for the community here. We haul a lot of booze into this town. . . I’ve been running highway 63 for eight years.”

“My younger family moved up here. Seemed like a good idea to get off the reserve and show the kids that it is possible to survive off the reserve and in a town like this, just the way things are booming right now, there’s such a shortage of workers. As far as kids getting jobs in the stores, local businesses it’s so easy for them. . .My oldest son is working on his grade 11 and working part time at a hardware store and making $17 an hour. But like, I come up here to have a life with my family, not living to work, which is how it feels now with the price of everything up here. It’s like no, can’t see ourselves sticking it out here for the long haul.  Retiring here…no.”

“When I think of Fort McMurray and what would I tell people about Fort McMurray, the Oil Can is always one of those things that pops into my head because this is a working town and that has always been like the main bar of this town as far back as I can remember…being a kid I could walk into one of the roughest bars here and nobody would bother me because it was almost like I was a local or at least accepted.”


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