Our History

Our History

Primco Dene was founded in 1999, with the stated goal of taking advantage of the opportunities created by the oilsands development in the Cold Lake First Nations traditional territory.

Starting with fifty employees, we began by capitalizing on the skills that already existed in our community, such as catering and janitorial services. Our close relationships with our clients allowed us to find ways in which we could extend our capabilities to fulfill needs. Expanding beyond oilfield services, we added consumer franchises and business support services, becoming a company with a solution built around the dynamic needs of a vast majority of individuals and businesses in our region and beyond.

Our Founders

Today Primco Dene has over 800 employees across 19 companies, representing fifty aboriginal communities across Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C, as well as ethnicities from across the world. We are partnered with other organizations and First Nations groups on joint ventures, operating in industries from oilfield services to soil remediation. We continue to add new companies to our Group by taking advantage of opportunities and creating valuable partnerships.

Meet Our Current Board Visit the Cold Lake First Nations Website


Judy Nest

At the time of founding, Judy Nest was the Economic Development Coordinator with Cold Lake First Nations.

Wilma Jacknife

Wilma Jacknife has received her Doctorate of Law and continues to serve as a Director.

James Blackman

The youngest-ever person elected to Cold Lake First Nations Council.

Founding Board Members

  • Late Elder Ralph Blackman
  • Gordon Piche
  • Ray Muskego
  • James Blackman
  • Judy Nest

Founding Chief & Council

  • Late Elder Chief Francis Scanie
  • Late Armand Martial
  • Lionel Francois
  • Fred Scanie
  • Conrad Metchewas



  • Beaver River Gas Bar Groundbreaking


  • Papa John’s and Memphis Blues purchased via Primco Commercial LP
  • Saskatchewan Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation Partnership
  • Purchased Comec building in Bonnyville


  • Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce Business of they Year Nomination
  • Tu Nezu Remediation Services established as a joint venture with Fog Free Technologies
  • Jiffy Lube North Grand Opening
  • Astec Safety Bonnyville, Beaver River Gas Bar and Lakeland Fireword purchased via Primco Commercial LP
  • Purchased land in Cold Lake north
  • Purchased building in Bonnyville with Seven Lakes Oilfield


Finalist in Canada Oil & Gas CSR Award

Recipient of Global Petroleum Show Award

  • Cold Lake Crane established as a result of a partnership with NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul and Primco Dene Ltd.
  • Jiffy Lube Bonnyville Grand Opening
  • Cold/Bonn Glassworks purchased via Primco Commercial LP


  • Dene Tech GP Ltd. established
  • Purchased land in Lac La Biche and Bonnyville


Received the Aboriginal Role Model Community Development Award

  • Primco Dene Bee-Clean Ltd. established
  • Primco Dene Business Centre Grand Opening


Recipient of Alberta Chamber of Commerce Partnership Award

  • Construction begins for Primco Dene Business Centre on Cold Lake First Nations
    Primco Dene Northgate Industries LP established


  • Edmonton satellite office opens


James Blackman, CEO, nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award

  • Wok Box purchased via Primco Commercial LP and opened in commercial property near Walmart in Cold Lake south


  • Primco Dene Security Services established
  • Built commercial property on land that was purchased in 2001
  • Primco Dene Canada North established


Aboriginal Human Resource Development Award

  • Meadow Lake Tribal Council Acknowledgement

Eagle Feather Award

  • Hosted 1st Annual Primco Dene Christmas Dinner & Dance


  • PDRC changed name to Primco Dene Royal Camp Services LP
  • Purchased 5 tanks at the UFA station


  • Primco Dene LP established
  • Primco Dene Catering LP established
  • Primco Commercial LP established


  • Partnership with Royal Camp Services to form Primco Dene Royal Camp Services (PDRC)


  • First Lubex opened in Cold Lake South
  • Seven Lakes Oilfield established


  • Primco Dene Catering Corporation established (partnered with Great West Catering – let known as Compass/ESS)
  • Primco Dene (EMS) Ltd. established


  • Primco Dene Catering Ltd. name changed to Primco Dene Ltd.
  • Land purchased near Walmart in Cold Lake


  • Primco Dene Catering Ltd. is established
  • Primco Dene (EMS) LP established


  • Primco Dene established and name changed to Primco Dene Ltd.

Success Throughout The Years

Primco Dene will be celebrating our 20th anniversary come 2019, and throughout our 20-year history, we have built an industry-leading Indigenous business while serving clients of all sizes.


Completed projects/contracts for various industry clients


Contributed to the U of A Indigenous Community-Industry Relations Programs


of our workforce represented by women