November 21, 2023 – Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) The First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) welcomes the Government of Canada’s commitment in today’s Fall Economic Statement to establish a national Indigenous loan guarantee program in Budget 2024.
The desire of First Nations to access competitive capital to facilitate First Nations equity ownership in major projects was a key issue that led First Nations to establish FNMPC as a non-profit in 2017. Since that time, the FNMPC has been tirelessly advocating to the Government of Canada on behalf of its First Nation members for the creation of a national Indigenous loan guarantee program.
“Achieving Indigenous consent through partnership is material to the future of the Canadian economy, particularly as we look to advance major projects that will help Canada meet its 2050 net zero targets. Today’s commitment to establish a national Indigenous loan guarantee program is a significant step on our shared path of economic reconciliation and a further unwinding of the economic exclusion we as First Nations people have been subjected to under the Indian Act. We want our future generations to have the same opportunity as all Canadians,” stated Chief Sharleen Gale, chair of the board of directors of FNMPC.
The opportunity for Indigenous equity participation in Canada is growing rapidly. Over the next decade, FNMPC’s research indicates that 470 major projects will impact Indigenous lands representing over $525 billion dollars of capital investment. FNMPC estimates that up to $50 billion could be required for Indigenous equity financing.
“We remain ready, willing and able to inform on and share our expertise and knowledge to establish a robust loan guarantee program to best meet the needs and the benefit of all of Indigenous peoples, and Canada,” said Chair, Sharleen Gale. “As an initial input, the implementation of a national Indigenous loan guarantee program should provide strategic investments to increase the capacity of Indigenous nations to co-develop business deals with the private sector based on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. We look to provide many more insights, as we work towards meaningful economic reconciliation.”
FNMPC is currently providing this type of capacity support to its First Nation members on 14 major projects, each with a First Nations equity investment component and a combined portfolio exceeding $55 billion in capital costs, representing some of Canada’s largest natural resource projects. The need for this program is imminent. We hope to see the Government of Canada announce a program funding amount commensurate with the level of Indigenous equity investment opportunities in the market. In the next 18 months, the FNMPC’s members could bring forward up to $500 million in loan guarantee proposals to become equity partners in projects impacting their nations.
Moreover, in the spirit of self-determination, FNMPC believes the program should be sector-agnostic. We hope to see a program that ultimately seeks to respect the rights of First Nations to participate in projects on their lands, as they wish.
The FNMPC’s 150 First Nations members from across Turtle Island look forward to hearing the details of the program, which are set to be announced in Budget 2024.
For more information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer