Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

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



Professional in Oil Industry, Resident for Several Years, Immigrant from Latin America, 40s

“We were still living in Venezuela after all these problem with PDVSA [the national oil company]. But the government was closing and closing the north and we say well, we don’t think we have a life here, you know? Because it’s like they are trying to close all the doors and they say ‘no you cannot work because you were one of those oil guys.’ And we applied [to work in the oil sands] through internet…They say please come to Canada we are going to interview you and we would also like you to see how this looks like . . . Even though it’s a small town I mean it’s going to be good right? And to the side of the oil, working on the oil, I came here to work in the same field that I have been working for the last 15 years. That’s helped definitely.”

“I think at the end of the day everybody’s looking to leave Fort Mac and I’m going to try to define that and qualify that. We don’t think Fort Mac is bad, okay? I think one of the disadvantage we really think about Fort Mac is the distance. It’s far from everywhere…”

“It’s a new life. I mean [our map] is connecting without any oil okay? It’s a new life, it’s an opportunity. Green is hope, right? It’s hope. What else? Work, the community itself. It’s friends also . . . I think opportunity is what this town offers to us. I mean it’s all this together, the opportunity, new life.”


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