Paving the Way to a Dust Free Pow Wow

Cypher Environmental teams up with Enbridge and Subcan Ltd. to deliver an environmentally friendly dust control solution to Swan Lake First Nation in preparation for their 25th Anniversary Pow Wow.


From June 30th to July 2nd this past summer, the Swan Lake First Nation was buzzing with activity as hundreds gathered for the community’s annual Pow Wow. In addition to members of the community, many visitors had travelled in for the special celebration, including drum groups, singers, and dancers to partake in friendly competition. From the youngest to the elderly, the attendees were able to enjoy the event – and we were very glad that road dust was not on their minds!


Swan Lake First Nation Pow Wow

Swan Lake First Nation Pow Wow


Earlier in the week, the site of the Pow Wow buzzed with a different kind of activity. The arbour was being set up and new flag poles were being installed. However, with the heavy traffic anticipated coming in and out of the event grounds, the unpaved roads were a major concern for the Pow Wow committee.

Not only does airborne dust pose health risks for the event’s many attendees when it is inhaled, the trailing dust that vehicles leave behind as they travel down the dirt roads can also cause visibility issues for others on the road.


Swan Lake First Nation Pow Wow - Aerial View

Aerial view of the Swan Lake First Nation Pow Wow

Applying Dust Control

In partnership with Enbridge through their Fueling Futures program and Subcan Ltd., a Manitoba-based company offering heavy construction services, Cypher Environmental was proud to contribute to an environmentally friendly dust control solution for the Swan Lake First Nation community, at no cost. With its location close to waterways, and the community home to a robust agricultural economy, it was imperative that no harmful chemicals and toxins would be used for dust control purposes.

“Enbridge supports communities where we have operations nearby. In the case of Swan Lake, we have pipelines right on community, so we are proud to offer support through our Fueling Futures program,” says Steve Loney, Senior Advisor, Community, and Indigenous Engagement at Enbridge.

“Enbridge has donated a substantial amount of funds and Cypher has matched a certain portion, through our Cypher Green Roads initiative, along with the in-kind contributions by Subcan, to stabilize and minimize the dust on several kilometers of roads in Swan Lake in preparation for the 25th anniversary Pow Wow this weekend,” added Todd Burns, founder and CEO of Cypher Environmental.

With Enbridge sponsoring the project and Cypher Environmental donating DUST/BLOKR®, our environmentally friendly dust control product, the missing piece was provided by Subcan Ltd., who donated the labour and equipment that was needed to apply the DUST/BLOKR® product. As a result, there were no costs borne by the community of Swan Lake.

Not only does DUST/BLOKR® provide a non-toxic and non-corrosive solution for dust control, making the roads more sustainable with less impact to the environment, it also helped the community conserve water, a popular dust suppression option that would have required frequent application and maintenance.


DUST/BLOKR application on unpaved roads

DUST/BLOKR application on unpaved roads around Swan Lake First Nation, Manitoba.


Cypher Dust suppression product on-site

Cypher Environmental donated DUST/BLOKR, our environmentally friendly dust control product to the Swan Lake First Nation in preparation for their annual Pow Wow.

Partnering Up for Success

The project at Swan Lake First Nation was not the first time the three companies have worked together. Last year, Enbridge, Cypher and Subcan had teamed up together for a similar project at Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation. The donation of product was also made possible through the Cypher Green Roads program. Stemming from the success of that project and seeing the impact the dust control application had on the community, we were happy to have the opportunity once again this year to not only donate to another community but on a much bigger scale.

This year’s application at Swan Lake was on 8 km of unpaved roads around the Swan Lake First Nation community, leading into and out of the Pow Wow grounds.


road crew on application site after DUST/BLOKR application.

The road crew and representatives from Cypher, Enbridge and Subcan on-site after the DUST/BLOKR dust control application at Swan Lake First Nation, Manitoba.


Swan Lake First Nation

The Swan Lake First Nation is located in South Central Manitoba, along junction Highway #23 and #34. The community has a population of approximately 1477, with 408 members who live in the community and 1053 who live outside the community. The annual Pow Wow is an important event for the community to celebrate their Anishinabe heritage. In fact, this year’s event marked the 25th anniversary of the Pow Wow.

A heartfelt miigwetch to the Swan Lake First Nation, Enbridge, and Subcan Ltd. for the opportunity to participate in this project and congratulations to the Pow Wow committee on hitting the 25-year milestone!


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