Province Helping Indigenous Groups Invest in Energy Projects

The provincial government is aiming to make it easier for Indigenous groups to invest in energy projects.

Premier Jason Kenney introduced Bill 14, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act, on Tuesday which looks to set up a first-of-its-kind Crown corporation to facilitate Indigenous investments and job creation.

Under the Bill, Indigenous communities would be able to access funding which they could use to invest in major natural resources development projects.

“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,” said Kenney, in a release.

“We want to empower Indigenous communities so they can lift their people out of poverty and become full partners in prosperity.”

The province adds this legislation will counter the federal Indian Act which they believe limit sales, transfers, and 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,” added Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations.

“The returns on these investments can help fund the community programs and services the Indigenous communities want.”

Multiple local Indigenous groups have been able to buy interest in major energy projects. This includes the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project and Suncor’s East Tank Farm Development.

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