Federated Co-op launches Indigenous gas bar brand
- NC Raine | January 28, 2021
A familiar Canadian company is developing a new initiative aimed at creating opportunities and building capacity for Indigenous communities.
Federated Co-op Limited (FCL) announced a new brand of gas bars specifically for Western Canada, appropriately titled Western Nations.
The new look and name of the gas bars is more than just a new brand – it is a distinct Indigenous focused community building program.
“Being able to partner with (Indigenous communities) to build a Co-op supported Indigenous brand, and at the same time, invest in Indigenous communities, is really important to us. It's truly one of those win-win scenarios,” said Brian Humphreys, FCL Vice-President of Energy.
The Western Nation model is similar to that of the many independently owned Co-op gas bars that function under the Co-op umbrella. A Western Nation gas bar would be locally and independently owned by Indigenous communities, of which Co-op would supply their fuel products.
Under the distinct Western Nation brand, FCL would help Indigenous communities establish their site with grants to go towards site development, renovation, upgrading, or changing existing operations.
The new Western Nation gas bar would also participate in the Co-op Community Assistance Program, which provides to the community one cent per litre sold, based on volume of sales, that they may then use for their own community-based programs.
“This is a very unique model we're setting up that is rooted in community capacity building, that makes this a distinct brand,” said Humphreys.
“And we have that local Co-op gas bar presence throughout the West, that is close by, that can offer assistance in capacity building, running operations, and helping the capacity of those employed to run a really good business.”
Humphreys said the Western Nation brand name was arrived at through consultation with various Indigenous leaders and communities throughout Western Canada. Their goal, long term, is to have a network of Western Nations throughout both Saskatchewan and western Canada.
There is no timetable yet as to when Western Nation gas bars will start appearing around the country, but Humphreys said they 'been in conversation' with several Indigenous communities, and are welcoming conversations about starting a gas bar development.
“This is a long-term initiative. It is a project that we believe has timeless relevancy going forward, and we're committed to the long-term of this,” he said.