In his first 50 days in office, Premier Jason Kenney hosted the first cabinet meeting with all First Nations chiefs since February 2015.
Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson and other cabinet members joined the June 10 government-to-government meeting in Edmonton to plan a path forward. A significant part of the discussion explored ideas about Indigenous participation in major energy projects, including the Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (IOC).
“It is critical that the Government of Alberta work collaboratively with First Nations in the spirit of reconciliation. We are renewing the tradition of our annual joint meeting of the provincial cabinet and Alberta’s First Nations chiefs. We discussed practical solutions to ensure opportunity and inclusion of Indigenous people in Alberta, including the vision of First Nations being partners in prosperity by participating in major resource projects.”Jason Kenney, Premier
“We have to think differently about how Indigenous communities participate in the economy. The IOC would be unique in Canada, backstopping up to $1 billion in Indigenous investment in responsible energy projects. Ownership can grow wealth that communities can reinvest in themselves.”Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
Chiefs and ministers also discussed the possibility of formalizing relationships through protocol agreements.
- June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada.
- There are 48 First Nations belonging to Cree, Blackfoot, Nakoda or Nakota, Anishinabe and Dene cultural groups.