Ground-Breaking Ceremony Celebrates Opaskwayak’s New Gas Station

On July 5th, 2023, Opaskwayak Chief and Council and Business Enterprises broke ground at what will be Opaskwayak’s new gas station and c-store.

The new project, in partnership with Parkwest Projects Ltd, will expand on the current Shell gas station in the parking lot of Otineka Mall. The gas station will be owned and operated by Opaskwayak and feature a modern 5,000 sq. ft. c-store and food outlet and 14 gas pumps including two diesels.

“We want to make sure that the gas station we are building today is going to serve our community tomorrow and 50 years from now,” said Ginger Martin, Business Enterprises Executive Director.

Opaskwayak leadership, staff and community attended the ceremony alongside construction workers from Parkwest Projects Ltd., who were on-site to complete a site visit and assessment.

Martin began the event by thanking current and past Opaskwayak leadership, the staff at Shell, the architects at Northern Sky, Parkway Projects, and the Opaskwayak community for their continued support of community projects, businesses, and the people of Opaskwayak.

Event participants included Business Enterprises Board Elder Norman Head, who led everyone in a prayer, and Chief Sidney Ballantyne and Business Enterprises Board Chair Derek Constant, who spoke about the project.

“Today we’re celebrating the construction of the gas bar and our unsung heroes behind the scenes: our employees and staff,” said Chief Ballantyne.

“This is one of many steps in the tremendous progress that Opaskwayak has made and is working towards.”
– Chief Sidney Ballantyne

“Business Enterprises and Chief and Council are so proud of what we are about to embark on,” said Constant. “This will be a tremendous addition to our Nation.”

At the end of the ceremony, Chief Ballantyne and Constant picked up two shovels and surrounded by council members, they broke ceremonial ground.

Opaskwayak community members will be invited to participate in a naming contest for the gas station at a later date. The project is expected to be completed in 2024 with a grand opening celebration.

You can watch the Facebook Live video of the ceremony on the Opaskwayak Communications Facebook here.

Photos from the event below were provided by Tiar Wheatle and Duncan Lathlin.