Justin Bourque is the President Âsokan Generational Developments Ltd. A consultancy focused on building bridges between industry and Indigenous communities. He supports Indigenous resilience and economic sovereignty through negotiation and management of meaningful Indigenous-industry partnerships; as well as to build an understanding of corporate responsibility and enhance opportunity through the development of Indigenous ESG frameworks that localize economic benefit for current and future generations.
As the third-generation owner of his family’s trapline in Anzac, he continues to exercise his harvesting rights on the land while passing on his knowledge to his community and kin. Justin takes great pride in both his home and his Métis upbringing, which instilled in him a deep connection to the land, environmental stewardship, cultural integrity, and respect for the governance his ancestors promoted. He has a true passion for all Indigenous people and communities and continually strives to build capacity, develop partnerships, and maintain cultural connections.
Justin has a multi-faceted history in Alberta's energy industry – from apprentice through to CEO. His journey began at the age of sixteen in the oil sands resource sector through the Registered Apprentice Program. Throughout his distinguished career, Justin has worked at several high-profile companies including Syncrude Canada Ltd., CNOOC (formerly Nexen Inc.), and CEDA. In 2019, he became General Manager of Operations for Willow Lake Métis Group (WLMG), a separate entity owned by WLMN with a mandate to create and explore partnerships and business ventures supporting the WLMN, and in 2020 he became WLMG’s President.
Justin spent a number of years as the elected Vice President and CEO of Willow Lake Métis Nation (WLMN). Justin and his leadership team took great strides to create a Nation that is accountable to its citizens, driven for community prosperity while being culturally grounded, motivated to bring new community-based services, and determined to protect and enhance the rights of the WLMN peoples. As part of that commitment and under his leadership, the Nation made a historic 205-acre land purchase to give its citizens a permanent home.
Justin announced his role as President of Athabasca Indigenous Investments in September 2022; an organization comprised of 23 First Nation and Métis communities that have partnered with Enbridge to invest in seven pipelines that make up the Trunkline Asset. Athabasca Indigenous Investments is a historic, landmark partnership. The purchased seven pipelines move critical energy resources from their traditional lands to global markets. The investment provides the Indigenous peoples who are most impacted by these assets a direct stake in and accountability for their stewardship and positions the 23 communities for long term success by providing a significant economic impact now and for generations.
At the centre of this success is Justin’s passion for ESG. He plans to continue to advocate and create a framework for measurement to ensure industry, community, and stakeholders are engaged, accountable, and driven to collectively work towards a sustainable future for the oilsands.
In recognition of his leadership, Justin was named one of Canada’s Top 20 Dynamic CEOs, one of the 10 Most Innovative Business Leaders to Follow in 2022, and received Junior Achievements’ 2022 Innovator Award.