Founded in 1982, Polar Oils is Canada’s only First Nation’s owned wholesaler & marketer
We believe and support an all-of-the-above energy approach. Suppling the demands of today, our fuels maintain green characteristics and are supported by robust safety polices.
Representing over 24,000 First Nation individual, through joint community ownership. Our profits are distributed back to our First Nation owners.
Supplying our member nations retail and commercial operations. Our fuels and service represents responsible development and contributes to overall reconciliation and self-determination.
Our Indigenous Ownership includes
Our History and Mission
Representing the first Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) business investment, Polar Oils is one of the eldest fuel distributors in Saskatchewan and maintains a historic and significant position in servicing the northern communities. While the company operations have molded and shifted throughout its over 40 years of service, the emphasis on supplying and supporting our First Nations members and Shareholders has remained steadfast.
Established in 1982 as a Heating Oil Supplier in the Clearwater River Dene Nation and La Loche area, Polar is through-and-through a business that originated at the margins to service those at the margins. From the perspective of major integrated oil companies, the residential heating oil consumption throughout Saskatchewan’s sparsely populated HWY 155 northern corridor represented relatively small demand and inefficient means of distribution. These factors naturally gave way to inflated fuel pricing and anti-competitive behavior. Historically, those local to Saskatchewan’s dense northern forests were faced with the alternative of having to purchase heating fuel from Big-Oil branded dealers or relying on traditional wood-burning means for heating throughout the harsh winter months.
In the early 1980s, Polar Oils, the single truck operation was established in the northernmost MLTC community, Clearwater River Dene Nation. This new organization not backed by a major oil brand name, but rather an independent startup, soon caught the attention of local leadership. Polar Oils was later targeted and acquired by MLTC to be developed as means to access and supply vital fuel without reliance on 3rd party Big-Oil dealers. As an independent not directly partnered with any major provider, Polar Oils continues to procure fuel at arm's length from western Canadian refiners and suppliers. Such independence has allowed Polar to maintain autonomy over its product supply, pricing, branding without geographical restraints or corporate limitations.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s Polar Oils transitioned southward and based its operations in Beauval, SK at the HWY 165 and HWY 155 junction — the mouth of the NW corridor. From here it would centralize its business supplying fuel to northern environs. With a network and backing of the joint nine First Nation ownership, Polar Oils expanded from servicing residential heating oil needs to further supplying motor fuels to community-owned stores and business affiliates of the Tribal Council Nations. Through this tribal collaboration, Polar Oils was the vehicle that proffered members Nations to secure equitable access to vital resources. At its core, Polar is a jointly controlled First Nation entity with a mission to supply members a means to heating and fuel to connect northern residents.
Through navigating a competitive landscape and as a local independent, our company came to a crossroads in 2018/2019. The outcome of which resulted in a partnership with a regional based independent marketer. This partnership allowed the companies to optimize their operations through shared expertise, network and purchasing power.
In the spring of 2019 the revised, growth-oriented company underwent a renewed branding campaign and adopted a new management team. From here, Polar focused on bringing attention to its story and unique occupancy in the industry. With the First Nations, consumer fuel tax implications meant indigenous business ownership at the retail level is omnipresent within Canada. Conversely, Polar Oils operates not as a retailer but further up the value chain as a wholesaler and marketer, where here it stands alone as one of the only petroleum suppliers in Canada (estimated +70) that represents any indigenous ownership. This community-controlled governance structure is source prowess and strength for Polar Oils as it competes directly against branded dealers and integrated refiners. A combination of First Nation partnerships and organic growth have strengthened Polar’s position since 2019.
Over four decades of operations has showcased the company’s resiliency and opportunities for future growth and service looks favorable. The retail network expansion is proof that the company’s flywheel model of growth and strategic partnerships are turning positive results. As Polar hits its stride in serving On-reserve community demands and the wider industrial economy the mainstream shift in attention to business IESG (indigenous, environmental, social and governance) factors have increased the company's brand value. But not to be confused Polar Oils is not an organization in it for public relations or gaining social credits, we’re doing it because we’ve always been in the business of supplying and supporting our First Nations members. As a locally owned independent, Polar Oils is proud to maintain its autonomy as an independent supplier and brand, at the directive of its indigenous shareholders. Looking forward Polar Oils will remain committed as a company to create value through supplying petroleum intense operations and fuel demands required for its local economy, member nations, and communities to function.
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Originating from our humble roots of servicing remote- northern- Saskatchewan, Polar Oils is committed to creating value for our indigenous member communities.