For more than 30 years, Chief Jim Boucher has been, and continues to be, one of the most influential people in Alberta, and one of the most successful Aboriginal leaders in Canada. As a young chief of the Fort McKay First Nation in the 1980s, Chief Boucher recognized that the community’s proximity to the oil sands not only posed issues, but also offered enormous opportunities. He effectively partnered with industry and governments to address the community’s social and economic conditions, developing and sustaining successful First Nation-owned businesses that create economic wealth and opportunity. As Board Chairman, Chief Boucher has led the 100 per cent band-owned and operated Fort McKay Group of Companies (FMGOC) to grow into one of the most successful First Nation-owned business ventures in Canada – boasting annual revenues in excess of $500 million. His greatest accomplishment to date remains the signing of Fort McKay’s Treaty Land Entitlement Settlement Agreement in 2003. Chief Boucher continued to advance opportunities for Fort McKay with the historic $350-million investment into the East Tank Farm, which has yielded one of the largest-ever bond offerings by a First Nation. Chief Boucher says the basis for much of his success comes from “the combination of perseverance and having the right attitude.” To many, he is a chief, a peer, a leader or a client – he is an “Elder” in the best and truest sense of the word. He is also the proud father of two children and has four grandchildren.