Athabasca Basin Development Creates Prosperity for the Future
Nearly 20 years after its creation, Athabasca Basin Development (ABD) has built investments that deliver for its seven northern Indigenous
community owners, with its sights set on setting up wealth that will pay for generations to come. The company started out investing in mining-related
ventures in the north, guided by a board established and appointed by ABD’s community owners.
ABD is a highly capable group of companies with a strong governance structure that is led by its robust management team and a board
determined to build a future for each owner community. Anne Robillard is ABD’s board chair, participating on the board since its inception and
as board chair for the past 15 years. “Our original board was developed to set the vision for ABD itself, remove the politics from decision-making, and to make good decisions for all the communities,” she says. Besides Robillard, the board has five voting directors, with one director each from
Fond du Lac First Nation LP, Black Lake Ventures LP, Hatchet Lake Development LP, and the northern Hamlet of Stony Rapids. The other board member represents one of the other three communities, rotating between the Northern Settlements of Uranium City, Camsell Portage, and Wollaston Lake.
Robillard has seen firsthand ABD’s growth and its ability to create and grow investments that follow the vision established two decades ago. “While our board is not involved with the day-to-day management of ABD or its companies, we are active in decision-making on investments,” says Robillard. “We assess every new opportunity to ensure it’s the best fit for our communities now and in the future, and that it suits the overall vision for ABD.”
Planning for the Future
In 2014, ABD began to diversify its investments to build a resilient, reliable portfolio of investments that would benefit its community owners well into the future. “The cyclical nature of the resource sector led us to look outside mining for opportunities to invest,” says Geoff Gay, ABD’s CEO. ABD
management and its board looked outside mining for companies seeking for investment, and the diversification of its portfolio of companies began.
ABD moved into food and beverage distribution with the acquisition of Arctic Beverages in 2014, and then into recreational vehicles and manufactured homes in 2015 with Tru-North RV, Auto and Marine. By 2021, ABD had diversified further into financial services and cannabis
retail and is now launching Optek Solutions—a new enterprise in the growing tech space. “Our goal is to create a strong company with a solid,
consistent portfolio that will thrive for decades,” says Gay. “Our decision-making is always guided by the original vision—to build something for
What Lies Ahead
ABD is open to opportunities from any sector—no matter if the venture is in the early-growth stage, looking to expand, or with owners looking
to exit into retirement or in need of succession planning. “With our diversification goals, we’ll look at companies across industries,” says Gay. “Consistent growth over time is the goal. Plus, we’re open to partnerships with other organizations and firms where it makes sense.” Whatever the opportunity that may present itself, ABD and its board have one goal when making decisions: wealth creation and prosperity for the seven communities that proudly own ABD. “We’re building together,” says Robillard. “Collaboration is where we find value and success that will last.”
ABD is ready to talk about your opportunity, what it can offer the Athabasca’s future generations, and what ABD can offer you.
Visit athabascabasin.ca to learn more.