• Don Richardson

Indigenous Ownership: A New Era of #Indigenomics and Energy

"Major project agreements are evolving in Canada: Indigenous groups are increasingly seeking equity agreements over other types of arrangements. Why is this significant? Equity gives Indigenous groups whole or part ownership in a company or project," says the Conference Board of Canada in a recent focus article titled "Indigenous Ownership

A New Economic Era". Here's a summary of recent discussions, publications and forthcoming conferences as we head toward NetZero!

Signatures on the Henvey Inlet First Nation Wind Energy Centre - 300 Megawatt windfarm with 87 Vestas 3.45MW wind turbines generates more than $10 million in income annually for Henvey Inlet First Nation - a source of long-term, stable revenue from Nigig Power Corporation that operates the $1 billion project. Photo by Don Richardson, IBA Braiding


The Conference Board notes that through equity positions in major projects, Indigenous communities expect more than the usual employment, training, and procurement opportunities that come with impact and benefit agreements (IBAs). IBAs that braid in equity ownership also provide:

  • Long-term stable revenue streams

  • Decision-making powers over major economic projects in their territory

  • Capacity and skills development opportunities in business and management

Over the next few months the Conference Board of Canada will be engaging with individuals and organizations from across Canada on equity-based project agreements, seeking perspectives from Indigenous groups, industry groups, lenders, and governments to find out more about:

  1. What Indigenous groups need to participate as strong equity-based partners in major projects

  2. The leading practices and policies of industry proponents, governments, and lending institutions to ensure success - And what challenges and gaps remain

  3. The relationship between equity participation and Indigenous self-determination

Coincident with the Conference Board article, Vancity Community Investment Bank posted an article titled "Five Big Takeaways on Financing Models for Indigenous Clean Energy" Based on the Bank’s Feb 3rd, 2022 webinar: Building Partnerships for Indigenous Clean Energy, moderated by Clint Davis, CEO of Nunasi Corporation, with Terri Lynn Morrison of Indigenous Clean Energy, Matt Jamieson of the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, and Steve Parsons of the Eskasoni First Nation Corporate Division, the panelists pointed to the rapid transition taking shape as communities take control of their clean energy future. Lauryn Drainie of VanCity posted her 5 big takeaways from the discussion:


  1. It’s All About the Relationship

  2. The Land is the Asset that Matters Most

  3. Respecting Community Values

  4. An Emphasis on Community Benefits

  5. Project Finance: From Debt to 51% Ownership

As we look forward to the First Nation Major Projects Coalition's 5th Annual Industry Engagement Event: Towards Net Zero by 2050 Conference, April 25th & 26th, 2022 where we'll see how the new era of Indigenomics and NetZero get braided together with solar farms, geothermal plants, biofuel farms, EV battery factories, smart grids, transmission lines, carbon capture, small modular reactors, and nickel mines across Indigenous territories.


And following the NetZero conference, there's the Indigenomics Institute's Conference: Activating the Financial Architecture of the 100 Billion Dollar National Annual Indigenous Economy on May 19 - 20th, 2022 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, BC Canada. This conference promises dialogue discussions, engagement sessions, presentations and panels with leading experts as a collective force to build the $100 billion dollar Indigenous economy - much of which is sure to spin around energy projects and infrastructure as we head toward NetZero.


Full moon with a Vestas 3.45MW wind turbine at the Henvey Inlet First Nation Wind Energy Centre - 300 Megawatt windfarm. Photo by Don Richardson, IBA Braiding - Thank you to Chief M. Wayne McQuabbie for the tour!


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