Bill 14, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act, would set up a first-of-its-kind Crown corporation to facilitate Indigenous investments and job creation.
Premier Kenney announces legislation to set up the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, L to R: Calvin Helin, Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, Minister Rick Wilson, Stephen Buffalo, Herb Lehr, Chief Billy Morin, Chief Joe Weasel Child.
The AIOC would make it easier for Indigenous communities to access funding, invest in major natural resources development projects and fuel their prosperity while helping to grow Alberta’s natural resource sectors.
“Indigenous people in Alberta deserve a government that will be a true partner in creating new opportunities so that the First Nations who call this land home can take full advantage of the natural resources that enrich this province. We want to empower Indigenous communities so they can lift their people out of poverty and become full partners in prosperity.”Jason Kenney, Premier
Indigenous communities have faced challenges in getting financing for mid- to large-scale investments. The federal Indian Act continues to limit land-use rules, like sales, transfers or use of land for collateral.
“This new Crown corporation is a bold and innovative way of building relationships with Indigenous communities to get natural resource projects moving forward and get Alberta’s economy back to work. The returns on these investments can help fund the community programs and services the Indigenous communities want.”Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
“The Métis people of Alberta have long been involved in the resources sector, and are pleased to see this type of proactive work from the province.”Herb Lehr, president, Metis Settlements General Council
“It is no secret that there is immense interest from the First Nations of this country to own big resource sector projects. This initiative will go a long ways to accomplish that.”Calvin Helin, president, Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd.
“The Indian Resource Council is incredibly gratified to Premier Kenney and Minister Wilson for their leadership on getting the AIOC up and running.”Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO, Indian Resource Council
“For too long, we have been on the sidelines of the resource sector. This will change with the advent of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. I look forward to what else it will bring.”Chief Billy Morin, Enoch Cree Nation
“Treaty 8 lands hold some of the richest natural resources in the province. We look forward to moving together with the government to get our people involved in meaningful ways. ”Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
The AIOC is designed to increase access to capital for Indigenous communities, and provide them with the support they need to get involved in viable projects.
- In his first 50 days in office, Premier Jason Kenney hosted the first cabinet meeting with all First Nations chiefs since February 2015.
- Introducing the $10-million Indigenous Litigation Fund was another promise kept to stand up for Indigenous peoples’ prosperity.
- The Alberta government and Blackfoot Confederacy signed a relationship agreement that will have both parties working closely on issues of mutual concern and continued collaboration.