Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Representatives from four First Nations in Alberta believe there is strength in numbers.
They have joined forces to create the First Nation Capital Investment Partnership (FNCIP), an alliance that will see the four Nations pursuing ownership in major infrastructure projects.
The alliance consists of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Paul First Nation and Alexander First Nation.
The FNCIP has chosen Axxcelus Capital Advisory Partners to be its exclusive financial advisor. In this role it will source, evaluate, structure and finance opportunities on behalf of the four First Nations in the alliance.
“We congratulate the communities in forming this partnership and are honoured to represent them as they continue to build economic sovereignty for their Nations,” said Paul Poscente, the CEO of Axxcelus Capital Advisory Partners.
Poscente said the FNCIP is a ground-breaking venture. He believes this is the first time First Nations from the province have joined forces to invest and acquire assets collectively.
Poscente said he is unaware of any similar partnerships in Treaty 6, which includes Nations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Since news of the FNCIP was announced last week, Poscente said there have been a handful of requests from other First Nations seeking additional information, including some keen to be part of the alliance.
But Tony Alexis, the chief of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, said there is no pressing need to expand the alliance.
“For now, we’ll be working with the four Nations,” he said.
Alexis said the four First Nations which comprise the FNCIP are all capable of creating their own revenue-building plans.
“I’m sure they could (do it on their own),” Alexis said. “But working together provides all the leverage that is needed.”
Alexis said his First Nation has kicked around the idea of being part of an economic alliance for quite some time.
“Discussions happened informally for a lot of years, not only for this group but with other communities too,” Alexis said.
In some ways, however, Alexis said the FNCIP concept is nothing new.
“This partnership is the way of the future for First Nation communities,” he said. “We are reclaiming community care and collective sovereignty, which will bring our communities back to the shared wealth we once had thousands of years ago.”
Alexis said announcements are forthcoming in the very near future on some of the early projects the FNCIP will participate in.
“We’re thinking within weeks,” Alexis said on when the initial project details will be released.
Poscente believes if the FNCIP proves to be a success, other First Nations will also be seeking to form similar working partnerships as well.
Enoch Cree Nation Chief Billy Morin is confident the FNCIP will prove to be beneficial for many years.
“Working responsibly with industry and building partnerships supports our long-term vision of becoming a self-sufficient Nation,” he said. “Growing our economic opportunities will help strengthen the well-being of all of our people. By passing down the values of our ancestors and embracing new ideas, we can enhance the prosperity of our Nation for generations.”
Treaty 6 Grand Chief George Arcand Jr. agrees.
“This is a historic moment of collaboration between our Nations,” said Arcand, who is also the chief of Alexander First Nation. “Our desire to build sustainable commercial partnerships isn’t about immediate financial benefit. It is about creating intergenerational wealth for the next seven generations.
“We have a greater responsibility than just building business. It is up to our people to ensure a healthy, vibrant future for our communities, one that values economics, responsible governance and environmental stewardship equally.”
Paul First Nation Chief Arthur Rain also believes the FNCIP is a prudent venture.
“We look forward to working with Industry, by advancing sustainable and responsible development, while never losing sight of our treaty rights,” Rain said. “The alliance between our four Nations will ensure ownership over our own infrastructure projects and generate significant economic and social benefits for our people.”
Local Journalism Initiative Reporters are supported by a financial contribution made by the Government of Canada.