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Indigenous equity ownership funding opportunities – Indigenous Law Insights February 2022 (webinar)

Author(s): Richard J. King, Kelsey Armstrong, Sander Duncanson

Feb 23, 2022

The various options available for Indigenous group project funding was a major focus of discussion during a webinar as part of Osler’s Indigenous Law Insights series. The February 22 event was hosted by Richard King, partner, Regulatory, Environmental, Indigenous and Land, and featured speakers Kelsey Armstrong, partner, Corporate, and Sander Duncanson, partner, Regulatory, Environmental, Indigenous and Land.

In Alberta, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) promotes investment by Indigenous groups in natural resources, agriculture, telecommunications and transportation projects and related infrastructure. Up to $1 billion total funding is available. Both an AIOC loan guarantee program and a capacity grant program are available, but the AIOC’s preferred means of providing support is in the form of a loan guarantee, with a minimum $20 million to a maximum of $250 million.

Groups eligible for AIOC support include an Indian Band as defined in the Indian Act; a Metis Settlement as defined in the Metis Settlements Act; the Métis Nation of Alberta Association or any of its regions or locals in good standing with the relevant corporate registry; or an entity that is wholly owned by any of the previously described groups. As well, a consortium is eligible if it is part of at least one of the Alberta-based Indigenous groups previously described and it participates as an investor in at least 25% of the total investment proposed by the consortium.

The British Columbia Supreme Court’s decision in Yahey v British Columbia, 2021 BCSC 1287 was also discussed in terms of its future implications for cases involving treaty rights infringement. It remains to be seen whether other Indigenous groups will bring similar claims, and whether other Canadian courts will follow Yahey.

View the full February 22 Indigenous Law Insights webinar

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