The AIOC is a historic game changer that is a win-win for Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Alberta’s natural resources sectors.
There is a growing number of Indigenous communities who see sustainable resource development as a key to their prosperity. However, the ability of Indigenous groups to provide adequate security to financial lenders has been a significant barrier in their ability to access capital.
The AIOC bridges the gap between Indigenous groups wanting to be commercial partners in natural resources sectors and their financial capacity. The AIOC’s $1 billion in loan guarantees is designed to reduce the cost of capital for Indigenous groups, and support their ability to raise capital to invest in resource projects.
As the capacity to develop or invest in natural resource projects varies widely across Indigenous communities, the AIOC will help provide access to third-party advice that contributes to increasing capacity in Indigenous groups to be involved in large-scale investments. This capacity support will include practical legal and economic backing through the entire deal life cycle to Indigenous communities who want to move toward being long-term strategic partners with industry and the Alberta government.
- Created as a Government of Alberta Crown corporation through legislation in the fall of 2019, the AIOC’s mandate is to facilitate investment by Indigenous groups in natural resource projects and related infrastructure.
- The projects eligible for AIOC support will be in the energy (which includes oil and gas, renewable energy, electricity, and coal), mining, and, forestry sectors.
- The AIOC is open to support commercially viable energy projects, including solar, wind and biomass energy.
- The AIOC can only support projects that follow all relevant laws and legislation, including the duty to consult
- To focus on investments that have larger value returns for Indigenous communities, the AIOC will be looking at proposals that have a minimum $20 million Indigenous investment in the project. Indigenous groups can form coalitions to pool funds, or secure funding from financial institutions, in order to meet this investment threshold.
- Projects inside Alberta and in other provinces or territories are eligible for support.
- Projects outside the province must benefit Alberta’s natural resource sector to be eligible.
- The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act defines the following groups as eligible for AIOC support:
- Indigenous groups, as defined by the Indian Act
- Metis Settlements as established by the Metis Settlements Act
- Métis groups as defined by regulation
- Other entities approved by the minister of Indigenous Relations as falling within the AIOC mandate
- Entities that are fully owned by the groups identified above.
- Indigenous groups outside of Alberta are eligible by partnering with one or more Alberta Indigenous community that has at least 25 per cent of the total combined Indigenous ownership of the project.
- News Release: AIOC board gets down to business, Jan. 27, 2020
- News Release: Delivering on a promise to partner in prosperity, Oct. 8, 2019