BANK OF THE WEST, BC, December 2, 2020 / CNW / – Despite the economic turmoil caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, the First Nations Financial Authority has taken a historic step by crossing the a billion dollars mark in the financing of First Nations.
“By working with Indigenous communities, we are starting to see concrete results in bridging the huge infrastructure gap between First Nations and the rest of the Canada,” noted Ernie Daniels, President and CEO of the First Nations Financial Authority (AFPN). “The projects we fund help bring fresh water, better health care, green energy projects and modern infrastructure to First Nations who have created jobs and built the Indigenous economy.
Henvey Inlet First Nation is among those that have benefited from AFNP loans. The Ontario First Nation has partnered with a private sector company to build a 300 megawatt wind farm on reserve at a cost of $ 1.2 billion. A loan of $ 117 million from FNFA helped the First Nation meet its capital contribution obligations.
“The peculiarities of the FNFA financing allowed us to go through the last stages of the project”, declared the chief. Wayne mcquabbie. “The FNFA loan funds have contributed to the completion of the largest onshore wind power project and the largest project on First Nations lands in Canada. During construction, the project created more than 100 direct and indirect jobs in our region; today, the wind farm supplies more than 100 thousand Ontario homes with green energy and generating millions in annual income for our members. “
115 First Nations have become FNFA borrowing members. This has created over ten thousand jobs over the past five years while making progress in building an Indigenous economy aimed at lifting communities out of poverty. The $ 1 billion loans granted by AFNP to date to First Nations do not include $ 250 million loan commitment to the Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition for the purchase of offshore fishing licenses as part of the announced purchase of Clearwater Seafoods.
“We have taken an important step forward, but there is still a long way to go to achieve true reconciliation,” said the Chief of the Wasauksing First Nation. Warren Tabobondung who chairs the board of directors of the FNFA. “The reality is that as First Nations become self-reliant, they must have access to the funds necessary to reduce poverty, manage wealth and create a thriving Aboriginal economy. We anticipate that AFNP will add new borrowers at a faster rate and we are already working on $ 2 billion Mark. It will create jobs and opportunities for all Canadians. ”
About the First Nations Financial Authority (AFPN)
FNFA is a non-profit First Nations institution that plays a crucial role in the social and economic development of First Nations through Canada by offering eligible First Nations access to financial markets at competitive rates. Established by the Federal First Nations Fiscal Management Act in 2005, the AFNP is established by First Nations, for First Nations. The FNFA will continue to grow and diversify, seeking to strengthen its credit rating and increase financial benefits for its growing membership.
SOURCE First Nations Financial Authority
For further information: Leanne Hunter, FNFA Senior Advisor, Phone: 613.853.2612, Email: [email protected]