Indigenous Success Stories: First Nations

September 6, 2022

Historic Partnership Between Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw and Canada to Create Nearly 3,000 Homes in Vancouver

NationTalk: Vancouver, BC – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was joined today by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Council Chairperson Khelsilem on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw traditional territory to announce the federal government will provide $1.4 billion to create nearly 3,000 homes on traditional lands in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. This project is the largest First Nations economic partnership and the largest loan from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in Canadian history.

These funds will support Sen̓áḵw, an on-reserve residential and commercial development project that will be owned and operated by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw. Sen̓áḵw, “the place inside the head of False Creek,” is located on land that was forcibly taken away from Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw in the early 1900s and returned by the courts in 2003. The ancient Sen̓áḵw village, located on this land, was burned down and the people who lived there were forced to relocate.

When complete, the Sen̓áḵw development project will feature striking Coast Salish architecture and design across a ten-acre site, over half of which will be publicly accessible, with green spaces, parks, and plazas. Everyone in the community, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, will be able to live at Sen̓áḵw. Sen̓áḵw’s vision will demonstrate how humanity and nature can co-exist, and the development aims to be the largest net-zero residential project in the country. In addition to thousands of rental units, including affordable units, the project is expected to create hundreds of good jobs and long-term economic opportunities for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw. Construction is already underway, with the first residents expected to move in in 2025.

With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada is supporting the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw’s long-term vision for the Sen̓áḵw lands, while helping to define a new generation of First Nations reconciliation and leadership, grow our economy, and create good jobs. We will continue to work together to advance meaningful reconciliation, including economic reconciliation, and ensure everyone has a safe place to call home.

“The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw and the federal government’s partnership to support the residential development of Sen̓áḵw is a historic moment in Canada’s relationship with Indigenous communities. This economic partnership is the largest in Canadian history between a First Nation and the federal government. This investment will build many needed rental apartments and generate long-term wealth for Squamish People across many generations. The wealth generated from these lands can then be recirculated into our local economies and communities to address our people’s urgent needs for affordable housing, education, and social services.”
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Council Chairperson Khelsilem

“Everyone should have a safe place to call home. Today’s announcement not only builds more much-needed homes for Vancouverites, it supports the Squamish Nation’s vision for their traditional lands and their path to continued economic independence and self-determination. When we all work together as partners – federal and Indigenous governments, private sector, local communities – we innovate, and we find solutions to the challenges we face.”
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Through our National Housing Strategy, we’re creating more housing supply in communities that need it most by working closely with partners from all levels of government, industry leaders, organizations, and of course, Indigenous governments. With projects like Sen̓áḵw, these partnerships are leading the way in building a better future for generations to come, as we continue to move forward together on the path to reconciliation.”
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

For more information, please contact Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw at  or PMO Media Relations at

September 1, 2022

First Nations

First Nations Finance Authority Takes Crucial Steps Toward Establishing The First Non-profit Indigenous Owned Insurance Program in Canada

NationTalk: Westbank, British Columbia – The First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with BFL CANADA, one of the largest employee-owned and operated insurance brokerage firms in Canada, which takes the initial steps toward establishing the first-ever non-profit Indigenous-owned insurance model for Indigenous communities and businesses in Canada.

“Access to insurability is a major barrier facing First Nations in their efforts to build healthy and prosperous communities,” said Ernie Daniels, President, and CEO of the FNFA. “Providing Indigenous communities with access to broad insurance coverage at affordable rates would be a major step forward on the path to economic reconciliation.”

FNFA’s Ernie Daniels and BFL CANADA CEO, Founder and President Barry F. Lorenzetti signed a Memo of Understanding to move forward to test the feasibility of the model. “We are committed to being a part of this project which will establish a collaborative alternative risk transfer model that serves communities effectively, creates new jobs and careers, and develops new sources of revenue for Indigenous communities,” said Mr. Lorenzetti. “This is how we begin to take action toward economic reconciliation within the insurance industry. First Nations leaders from across turtle island have come forward in support of the initiative requested to participate in this study.”

First Nations communities and organizations have limited options in finding insurance for community-owned assets and economic development initiatives and are often forced to accept take-it-or-leave-it offers at higher cost. FNFA’s proposed model is being developed in collaboration with Indigenous partners, government, and industry. Its aim is to empower Indigenous communities and organizations to own and manage a collective insurance and risk management program which would enhance the economic strength and well-being of their communities.

As a non-profit, Indigenous-led lending institution, FNFA has provided over $1.7 billion in low-cost loans to First Nations to help bridge the huge $30 billion infrastructure gap that exists between Indigenous communities and the rest of Canada. The FNFA is determined to bring the same kind of innovative approach to developing an Indigenous insurance and risk management program.

‘‘It is time that our communities and businesses operate and fully own a National Indigenous Insurance Model” Ernie Daniels President and CEO, FNFA

‘‘Every Rez spends tens of thousands of dollars annually on business and home insurance. It’s time to all work together to create our own insurance company.’’ Chief Clarence Louie Osoyoos Indian Band

“Every First Nation and Indigenous Business in Canada has a need for insurance coverage and millions of dollars are spent annually. We need to collectively own and manage this spend to benefit all communities. It’s time to create our own insurance company!” Robert Louie Chairman, Lands Advisory Board

About the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA)

The FNFA is a not-for-profit First Nation institution that plays a crucial role in the social and economic development of First Nations across Canada by providing qualifying First Nations with access to the capital markets at competitive rates. Established by the federal First Nations Fiscal Management Act in 2005, FNFA is by First Nations, for First Nations. The FNFA will continue to expand and diversify, looking to strengthen its credit rating and increase the financial benefits to its growing membership.


Founded in 1987 by Barry F. Lorenzetti, BFL CANADA is one of the largest employee-owned and operated Risk Management, Insurance Brokerage, and Employee Benefits Consulting services firms in North America. The firm has a team of over 1,100 professionals located in twenty-four cities across the country. BFL CANADA is a founding Partner of Lockton Global LLP, a partnership of independent insurance brokers who provide Risk Management, Insurance and Benefits Consulting services in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

For more information Contact: 
Leanne Hunter, FNFA Senior Advisor
First Nations Finance Authority
Telephone: 613.853.2612
Vital Adam, VP – Corporate Communications
Telephone: 514.908.4452

August 29, 2022

First Nations

Indigenous role in renewable energy landscape continues to grow

On a sunny day last month, a group of about 30 people toured the Nanticoke Solar facility, a 44-megawatt project built on the former site of what was Ontario’s biggest coal-fired plant before it was decommissioned in 2013.

Beyond the symbolism of solar panels on the shores of Lake Erie, on a site once dominated by two looming coal stacks, the tour marked another shift: the growing role of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s renewable energy landscape.

Nanticoke Solar, in production since 2019, is a commercial partnership between Ontario Power Generation and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp., which has a 15-per-cent interest, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, which owns 5 per cent. The solar plant is one of several Indigenous partnerships at OPG, which signed its first such agreement, for a hydropower plant with the Lac Seul First Nation, in 2009.

The tour group was co-ordinated through 20/20 Catalysts, a three-month program that links industry mentors with First Nations, Inuit and Métis participants, aiming to provide them with knowledge they can put toward renewable energy projects in their home communities or parlay into jobs or other opportunities in the energy sector.

The Nanticoke stop, which featured flocks of sheep used for weed control, came on the Ontario leg of this year’s Catalysts program. It also included site visits in Kelowna, B.C., and Iqaluit, Nunavut, and is run by Indigenous Clean Energy, an Ottawa-based non-profit. About 100 people have gone through the program, which is currently lining up its sixth group of participants.

Matt Jamieson is president and chief executive of Six Nations of Grand River Development Corp., and he spoke to the Catalyst participants before they toured the Nanticoke facility. For him, such mentoring is as much a part of his job as crunching the numbers for new investments.

“If there’s an opportunity for us to showcase what we’ve done, and to provide an opportunity for others to learn from – we’re all in,” said Mr. Jamieson, who is a member of the Tuscarora Nation.

That enthusiasm is line with industry trends. The number of mid- to large-sized Indigenous renewable energy projects grew by nearly 30 per cent from 2017 to 2020, according to a 2020 report by Indigenous Clean Energy. With the push toward net-zero targets, that momentum is expected to increase.

Other factors are also nudging the needle toward Indigenous equity stakes and participation, including Recommendation 92 of Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The recommendation calls on corporate Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a “reconciliation framework.”

The Six Nations development corporation is part of that evolving picture. Officially launched in 2015, it is a stand-alone corporation, designed to separate business from politics, with a mandate to generate revenue the community can use for needs including health care, education and infrastructure.

Those needs are significant. The infrastructure gap between Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous ones – what it would cost to bring services in line with those available in most municipalities – has been estimated as being as high as $30-billion. In Six Nations, estimates of the cost to connect all households to a central water system range as high as $200-million. (A new water treatment plant opened in 2014, but it is connected only to some buildings and homes in a central area; most households rely on water trucked to their homes.)

Six Nations of the Grand River are the most populous First Nation in Canada, with about 30,000 members, of whom 12,000 live on a reserve that spans about 180 square kilometres.

That’s only about 5 per cent of the lands granted to the Six Nations of the Grand River in the Haldimand Proclamation, an 18th-century decree that set aside a tract of land to the Six Nations in recognition of their support of British forces during the American Revolution. The area is subject to multiple land claims and a court claim filed by the Six Nations elected council against the governments of Canada and Ontario.

With those issues unresolved and potential settlements likely years away, the Six Nations development corporation has focused on generating income in the short term. It has stakes in a transmission line, wind and solar projects, and a 50-per-cent stake in the proposed Oneida Energy Storage Project, a 250-megawatt battery storage facility intended to store renewable energy so it can be used when power demand spikes.

The group’s partner in the Oneida project is Toronto-based NRStor Inc., which has built several small energy storage projects and now wants to roll out the technology on a larger scale. NRStor works with Indigenous partners from the outset of any project, said chief development officer Jason Rioux.

“It makes sense for us, it makes sense for our Indigenous partner and I think it makes sense in setting an example across Canada for more projects to come,” he said.

According to Six Nation development corporation reports, the group has generated more than $110-million in direct economic impact for the Six Nations community since 2015.

Indigenous communities are also eyeing opportunities in the hydrogen sector. The Canadian and German governments in August signed a deal to co-operate on exporting hydrogen fuel to Europe, with a target of 2025 to begin shipments from Eastern Canada.

The Six Nations development corporation is talking to a prospective partner about green hydrogen, but the financial feasibility of such a project has yet to be confirmed, Mr. Jamieson said, adding that any new ventures would need community support.

“What we do as a development corporation is pursue a future that fits within our values, to create something. So that our future generations can look back and and say, ‘Wow, we didn’t have to wait for a court ruling. We don’t have to wait for a transfer payment. We stepped up, asserted our interests, got organized and conducted business, and did a good job of it.’ That’s really the goal.”

May 17, 2022

AFOA Canada partnership with Harvard Business School

Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities program

More Indigenous professionals from across Canada have attended Harvard University through a unique partnership between AFOA Canada and the Harvard Business School (HBS). From May 9-13, 2022 AFOA Canada members together with participants from the United States, Australia and New Zealand achieved an Executive Education Program Certificate.

The Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities program utilizes the HBS case study method to teach participants investment tools, products, and practices, and how to use them in a community context. Participants include elected leaders, senior managers, youth, and AFOA Canada Certified members.

“It’s been an incredible week learning from various business cases that have enhanced our ability to build strategic plans that will benefit our Nations for today but also for the seven generations to come,” says Emily Martell, an Indigenous youth participant from Waterhen Lake Cree Nation, Sask.

This is the fourth year the program has run, a total of 182 Indigenous people have attended through AFOA Canada. A fifth cohort is expected to take place May 2023.

“I am looking forward to seeing how participants of this program will apply what they have learned toward improving the lives of our peoples,” says Terry Goodtrack, President and CEO, AFOA Canada.

AFOA Canada would like to thank Harvard University, CPA Canada, Nutrien, RBC Royal Bank and TD Bank for sponsoring participants.

AFOA Canada is entering its 23rd year as an Indigenous Institution with approximately 1400 members across Canada. It has become a recognized leader in developing certified capacity in Indigenous management, finance, and governance.

March 23, 2022

The Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion: Bank of Canada assumes chair

The Bank of Canada announced today it has officially begun a one-year term as chair of the Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion (CBNII). The Network also plans a bi-annual Symposium on Indigenous Economies. The first symposium was hosted by the Bank of Canada in November 2021, in partnership with the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

In 2021, under the leadership of the RBNZ, the Network focused on building awareness of members’ respective economic and Indigenous histories.“As the Bank of Canada assumes the role of chair, we have an important opportunity to support the growth and evolution of the network, and to deepen both the relations that have been developed and our understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Indigenous Economy,” said Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri. “We look forward to building upon the sterling work done by Te Pūtea Matua, which served as the Network’s inaugural chair in 2021.”

December 10, 2021

Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA)

Global Affairs Canada – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced Canada’s endorsement of the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA).

IPETCA was developed in close cooperation with Indigenous peoples in Canada through Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group on Trade Policy and is open for other economies to join. IPETCA acknowledges the importance of enhancing the ability of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous businesses to benefit from the opportunities created by international trade and investment. As a cooperation-based and voluntary instrument, IPETCA establishes a framework for facilitating cooperation between participating economies in order to identify and remove barriers to Indigenous peoples’ economic empowerment and participation in trade. It comprises provisions on responsible business conduct, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

The agreement also includes a provision whereby participating economies acknowledge that it is inappropriate to weaken or reduce protections for Indigenous peoples in order to attract trade or investment. Indigenous representatives from each participating economy will be involved in the implementation and operation of IPETCA alongside government officials.

November 29, 2021

The Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion

Symposium on Indigenous Economies:

Tiff Macklem, Governor of Bank of Canada: One of the main goals of the Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion is to recognize the shared history of colonialism in our countries, and to work together to acknowledge and address some historical wrongs… Over the next two days, we’ll take a historical look at Indigenous economies, and we’ll consider various aspects of present-day economies. This includes access to capital, resource development, and Indigenous businesses and labour markets. We’ll also talk about the impacts that policies throughout history have had on current-day inequalities.

Part of this includes economic reconciliation, which relates to our mandate as Canada’s central bank. Fundamentally, it’s our job to promote the economic and financial welfare of our country and all peoples within it. The report encourages organizations to apply reconciliation principles, norms and standards to their policies and operational activities. This speaks directly to one of the goals shared by all of us at this symposium: making our workplaces and policies more inclusive. That means eliminating long-standing barriers and ensuring that all voices are heard. Because when we listen to more diverse voices, we have a greater understanding of how our policies affect all Canadians. This helps us make better decisions.

The report also calls for meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples and communities on economic development and equitable access to jobs, training and education. As Canada’s central bank, we play an important role in creating the conditions for opportunity for Canadians. And this must include meaningful opportunities for Indigenous peoples within Canada. Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada—toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone.

April 13, 2021 – The IGF is Canada’s newest and largest Indigenous social impact fund and will be under the management of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA).

The Fund’s lead investors are the Government of Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), with further commitments from Export Development Canada (EDC) and Farm Credit Canada (FCC). BDC’s partnership with NACCA has been integral in bringing the Fund to fruition leading negotiations on behalf of the federal government and other investing Crown corporations and supporting NACCA with additional resources.
The IGF will enable Indigenous entrepreneurs throughout Canada to receive the capital they require to start or expand their businesses through the Aboriginal Financial Institution (AFI) that serves them. AFIs will access the IGF for capital to build on their 30-year track record of lending to Indigenous-led small and medium-sized businesses.
The Fund will be operational and capital will begin to be deployed to AFIs later in 2021. Once fully utilized, the Fund will increase AFI lending by $75M annually with loans to roughly 500 businesses.

Indigenous economic development is a critical aspect of reconciliation in Canada. Since the early 1980s, the developmental lending programs offered by AFIs have supported Indigenous communities and their members by creating opportunities from within. Where a lack of capital has long been the most significant barrier to Indigenous people seeking to start up or expand their businesses, the loan programs the AFI network supported by NACCA stimulate the emergence of Indigenous-led Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Whether owned by communities or individuals, Indigenous-led SMEs contribute to the economic self-determination of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. Representing more than simply job creation for Indigenous peoples, these SMEs are the heart of development in communities. Ultimately, these SMEs provide the promise of a better future for business owners and their families, and a motivating environment for other community members – who benefit both from their examples and from the goods and services they offer. Most successful Indigenous-led enterprises start by entrepreneurs addressing local needs. These businesses also contribute to their regional economies and bring positive impacts to Canada as a whole.

November 2, 2021

Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp

Toronto Star – Frog Lake First Nation is an example of how Indigenous nations are pursuing development strategies sensitive to responsible environmental stewardship. The Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp partnered with Kanata Clean Power and Climate Technologies to build net zero energy infrastructure. Frog Lake invested $1.5M from the wholly-owned subsidiary in Kanata. Money earned from legacy oil and gas projects is now being used to develop clean-burning fuels – natural gas with zero emissions. It’s a model for Indigenous developmemnt and energy transition; self-funded Indgenous enterprise in the green economy.
More specifically, the first Kanata project will be a natural-gas powered electricty plant using innovative technology that burns natural gas in oxygen, with the resulting CO2 being captured and heated to create electricity or sequestered undergound. Kanata’s technology, conceived by fast growing NET Power, turns grubby into clean making Natural Gas emissions-free. It will generate 300 magawatts of electricity and pridice watwer for 15,000 households, guven that ckean watewr is a by=-product of the process.

September 25, 2021

Astisiy – a joint partnership betwen Suncor and 8 Indigenous communities

The Financial Post – A $40-million partnership deal between eight Indigenous communities and Suncor Energy Ltd. is being hailed as an economic shot in the arm for the Northern Alberta communities, as they unite to buy a stake in a pipeline crucial to the energy giant’s oil sands operations. Those involved in the deal say the Indigenous energy partnership is a sign of things to come in the oil sector, which has long grappled with ensuring proper consultations over energy projects. Under the arrangement, announced Thursday, a joint Suncor-Indigenous partnership called Astisiy will buy 15 per cent of the Northern Courier Pipeline from TC Energy.
The remaining 85-per-cent stake in the pipeline remains in the hands of Alberta’s investment manager, Alberta Investment Management Corp., or AIMCo, which purchased it two years ago.

All eight communities are based in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which sits in the northeast corner of the province and takes in Fort McMurray. The partnership is expected to generate gross annual revenue of about $16-million for its partners. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Indigenous communities’ buy-in of Northern Courier is supported by a loan guarantee of up to $40-million from Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp., or AIOC.

It’s the third major infrastructure deal backed by the AIOC, a Crown corporation established by Alberta’s United Conservative government as part of a 2019 election campaign. “This was an extraordinarily strong deal,” she said. “It really is an example of the type of Indigenous-to-industry partnership that the AIOC would be pleased to do over and over again.” Alicia Dubois, CEO of AIOC.

Astisiy is made up of:

  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation,
  • Chipewyan Prairie First Nation
  • Conklin Métis Local #193,
  • Fort Chipewyan Métis Local #125
  • Fort McKay Métis Nation,
  • Fort McMurray Métis
  • Fort McMurray #468 First Nation
  • Willow Lake Métis Nation and
  • Suncor.

April 27, 2021

The Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion

Tulo Centre for Indigenous Economics and First Nations Tax Commission

NationTalk – Bank of Canada, Te Putea Matua (Reserve Bank of New Zealand) and the Reserve Bank of Australia, along with Indigenous partners – Tulo Centre for Indigenous Economics and First Nations Tax Commission – have formed a voluntary network to foster ingoing dialogue and raise awareness of Indigenous economic and financial issues. The Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion, established January , 2021, aims to share knowledge and best practices, promote engagement with Indigenous Peoples, and foster greater understanding and education about Indigenous economic issues and histories.

The network will focus on:

  • Conducting research for and with Indigenous peoples on economic issues, including the development of best practices, such as using Indigenous data respectfully
  • Building cultural awareness, recruitment practices and other aspects of corporate culture to foster Indigenous inclusion within member organizations
  • Strengthening engagement practices with Indigenous groups and communities
  • Supporting economic and financial education for and about Indigenous peoples

In addition, the network will plan a recurring Central Bank Symposium on Indigenous Economics. The first symposium will be hosted by the Bank of Canada in late 2021.
The Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion will serve as a community of practice and will not aim to set or take policy positions.

“The Bank of Canada wants to better understand the Indigenous economy and the obstacles and opportunities that Canada’s Indigenous People’s face.” Governor Tiff Mackem said “Our membership in this network provides us with an invaluable opportunity to learn from each other, to forge stronger bonds with Indigenous communities and contribute to making our workplaces and policies more inclusive.”

January 7, 2021

Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition purchse of Clearwater Seafoods

Clearwater – FNC Holdings Limited Partnership representing a coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations and Premium Brands Holdings Corporation through a new equally owned corporation, 12385104 Canada Inc., will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Clearwater.

December 2, 2020

First Nations Finance Authority

First Nations Finance Authority – has hit an historic milestone by breaking through the one-billion-dollar mark in financing for First Nations. “Working with Indigenous communities, we are beginning to see real results in addressing the huge infrastructure gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada,” said Ernie Daniels, President and CEO of the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA). “The projects we are financing are helping to bring fresh water, better health care, green energy projects and modern infrastructure to First Nations that have created jobs and are building the Indigenous economy.”
115 First Nations have become borrowing members of the FNFA. This has created over ten thousand jobs in the past five years while making strides in building an Indigenous economy aimed at lifting communities out of poverty. The $1 billion dollars in loans provided by the FNFA to date to First Nations does not include the $250 million loan commitment to the Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition to purchase offshore fishing licenses as part of the announced purchase of Clearwater Seafoods.
The FNFA is a not-for-profit First Nation institution that plays a crucial role in the social and economic development of First Nations across Canada by providing qualifying First Nations with access to the capital markets at competitive rates. Established by the federal First Nations Fiscal Management Act in 2005, FNFA is by First Nations, for First Nations.

November 9, 2020

First Nations LNG Alliance

The Conference Board of Canada released “A Tide of Opportunity: Liquefied Natural Gas Development in BC and its Impact on Indigenous Communities” that while reducing the conflict between traditional hereditary chiefs and elected band councils to “governance” issues at least acknowledges that “The LNG sector and Indigenous communities in B.C. are working to invest in addressing these historical, traditional, and legal aspects in order to realize the full social, environmental, and economic benefits associated with LNG expansion. The problem – and challenge – is that all the members of the First Nations LNG Alliance who partnered with the Canadian LNG Alliance only represent the elected band councils.
The report was funded by the Canadian LNG Alliance an advocacy group of corporate oil and gas companies:

  • Kitimat LNG – Chevron Canada and Woodside Petroleum
  • LNG Canada (Shell, PetroChina, Korea Gas Corporation and Mitsubishi
  • Woodfibre LNG (Pacific Oil and Gas)
  • Woodside Energy Limited (Australia)
  • Fortis BC (Triton LNG (AltaGas, in partnership with Idemitsu Kosan
  • Enbridge Inc.
  • ExxonMobil

Coastal GasLink has committed to spending $1 billion of its $6.6 billion budget on Indigenous employment.

The report shows that opportunities for Indigenous communities stemming from the growth of the B.C. LNG sector include:

  • job creation;
  • training and capacity building;
  • closing the wage gap;
  • ownership and equity positions in projects and related infrastructure;
  • capacity for Indigenous entrepreneurs to establish new businesses to serve the sector; and
  • long-term revenue streams for Indigenous communities to fund the revitalization of language and culture, and to maintain and expand community services.

The Conference Board of Canada report also outlines other significant examples of Indigenous participation in the industry to date, including:

  • TC Energy awarded Indigenous and local companies across Northern B.C. $870 million worth of contracting and employment funding.
  • Coastal GasLink negotiated procurement with every Indigenous partner along the pipeline’s route.
  • Through the Woodfibre LNG project, the Squamish First Nation received over $4 million in procurement opportunities with BC Hydro.
  • The First Nations Limited Partnership is a $500-million commercial partnership by and for First Nations who, together, negotiated and concluded a commercial benefits agreement regarding the PTP.
  • Kitimat LNG has awarded Haisla Nation businesses about 85 per cent of construction spending.
  • HaiSea Marine, a joint venture between the Haisla Nation and Seaspan ULC, was awarded a $500-million contract to provide tug services to LNG carriers. HaiSea Marine will train and employ approximately 70 Indigenous people as mariners and onshore roles.

November 9, 2020

Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition purchse of Clearwater Seafoods

First Nations Finance Authority – Provided a $250M loan to the Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition comprised of communities from across Nova Scotia and Newfoundland:

  • Membertou
  • Waycobah
  • Potlotek
  • Paqtnkek
  • Pictou Landing
  • Sipekne’katik, and
  • Miawpukek.

The loan was to purchase the Canadian off-shore fishing licences from Clearwater Seafoods resulting in a 50% equity share in Clearwater. Under the announced agreement, the First Nations will receive contractual revenues on a quarterly basis from Clearwater which will have a significant impact by creating revenue and boosting their economies.
“This landmark deal which was made possible by a $250 million loan from FNFA shows the collective purchasing power of First Nations when they stand together,” said Ernie Daniels, President and CEO of the FNFA. “It demonstrates we are stronger when we work together in building the Indigenous economy.”

September 22, 2020

Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business – Release of “Insights into Indigenous Post-Secondary Graduates Experiences in the Canadian Workforce

The objective of this report is to develop a better understanding of how Indigenous post-secondary experiences are associated with entrepreneurship, working for Indigenous employers and overall labour market outcomes. In order to explore these relationships, we retrieved and analyzed data from Indspire’s 2020 National Education Survey (NES) of Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards (BBF) recipients, as well as Statistics Canada’s Census of Population (2016).

Using data from the NES survey, we review the characteristics of BBF recipients who go on to be employed by Indigenous employers, that is, Indigenous businesses, organizations and governments, and those who go on to self-employment. We present key findings relating to their post-secondary and employment experiences, as well as differences between self- employed BBF recipients and those employed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous employers. Additionally, we use survey data to determine the geographic outcomes of BBF recipients — whether they were required to relocate for work, and if they work in an Indigenous community.

“Indigenous youth are the fastest growing demographic in Canada and a key part of Canada’s current and future workforce,” said Tabatha Bull, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “This report is a first step in the conversation about how to attract, retain, and support this important demographic in all Canadian workplaces.”


  • BBF recipients who work for Indigenous employers in Ontario report being more satisfied with their current employment than those working with non-Indigenous employers.
  • On average, they more strongly agree that they feel valued at work, are satisfied with their current employment, that they work the desired number of hours, and that their workplace encourages a healthy work-life balance.
  • Approximately 35% of BBF recipients report working for an Indigenous employer.
  • A full three-quarters (75%) of BBF recipients employed by an Indigenous employer find suitable work in an Indigenous community. BBF recipients are more likely to be self-employed than Indigenous workers in the same age cohort.
  • Self-employed BBF recipients are more concentrated in the health care and social assistance, educational services, construction, and real estate rental and leasing sectors than in the broader Indigenous population.

July 8, 2020

Huron-Wendat Nation

NationTalk – The Québec Port Authority has received the formal support of the Huron-Wendat Nation through its Grand Chief, Konrad H. Sioui, for the Québec City container terminal project, Laurentia. the Grand Chief expressed in his letter that this project offers environmental commitments as well as concrete actions for the region and Québec and that it will be able to respond to contemporary issues of the economy and integration through a Huron-Wendat perspective.

A framework agreement to formalize and guide the discussions was developed in 2016 and has since been improved following fruitful collaboration between the Nation and the QPA. The agreement was signed in 2018 by the Grand Chief and Mario Girard. In addition to becoming the most ecological and technologically advanced container terminal in North America, the Laurentia deep-water terminal project will position Québec as a hub thanks to the establishment of a new logistics chain that will allow regional businesses as well as those in the North American mid-west to be served.

The Laurentia project will mark the entry of the Port of Québec into a new strategic network and world of maritime routes and ports offering containerized freight services. Thanks to a joint $775 million investment by Hutchison Ports, CN, and the Port of Québec, Laurentia will be home to the deepest container terminal on the St. Lawrence with the greenest environmental characteristics in North America.

Our Huron-Wendat enterprises benefit from the activities of the Port of Québec, which is an essential service for our development and our economic aspirations while maintaining respect for our values.” Konrad H. Sioui, Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation

November 29, 2018

Indigenous Economic Reconciliation

Release of “Indigenous Economic Reconciliation: Recommendations on Reconciliation and Inclusive Economic Growth for Indigenous Peoples and Canada” report, which provides an overview and thorough analysis of the ideas and recommendations heard during the Expanding the Circle forums:

  • First Nations (Feb. 15, 2017)
  • Métis (Nov. 8, 2017) and
  • Inuit (Nov. 29, 2018)

The first part focuses on four key recommendations based on common themes and issues raised during the three forums:

  • Procurement: establish a comprehensive and easy to access directory of Indigenous businesses (similar to Australia’s Supply Nation), and provide meaningful funding to Indigenous businesses to increase awareness and readiness for procurement opportunities.
  • Access to capital: adequately fund Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs), provide AFIs loan loss protections, and devolve economic development programming to AFIs.
  • Capacity development: put in place incentives, including funding, internships and scholarships to increase Indigenous participation in business training and certification; and encourage post-secondary education institutions to increase access to these programs for Indigenous learners.
  • Wealth sharing: implement strategies and innovative options to increase equity positions and involvement of Indigenous peoples in resource development, and to support growth of traditional economies and participation in environmental stewardship.

The Board anticipates hosting three follow-up forums in 2022, as well as a follow-up report on economic reconciliation will be released in 2023 which will include data from the 2022 NIEDB Indigenous Economic Progress Report. The Board will use these tools to track, monitor, and assess the state of economic reconciliation in Canada. – Economic Reconciliation – Final Report.pdf

March 1, 2018

Fort McKay Group of Companies

The Globe and Mail – The Fort McKay Group of Companies business portfolio generates gross revenue of about $500-million a year and creates about 2,000 jobs. Only about 5 per cent of its annual net income is derived from government transfers; the other 95 per cent is own-source revenue from business activities.
Fort McKay’s Community Well-Being Index, based on income, employment, housing quality and education, has steadily risen until it is almost as high as the average for all Canadian communities. The average after tax income for Fort McKay residents was $73,571 in 2015 – significantly higher than for Alberta ($50,683) and Canada ($38,977). This is an outstanding achievement for a First Nation whose people just a generation ago were hunters and trappers in a remote wilderness area.