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Six First Nations acquire equity stake in $1.5-billion power plant project

The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) is pleased to announce that as its first commitment it has provided a loan guarantee to a consortium of six Alberta First Nations to enable their participation in the Cascade Power Project (Cascade). Cascade is a 900MW combined cycle natural gas fired power plant located near Edson, AB. The transaction is a culmination of intensive efforts by multiple parties including Kineticor Resource Corp., OPTrust and Backwoods Energy Services (Backwoods), which is owned by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation.

The First Nations will invest through a holding vehicle owned by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, O’Chiese First Nation, Paul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation.

The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation’s (AIOC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Alicia Dubois to Chief Executive Officer of the AIOC effective September 1, 2020. Dubois brings to the position a wealth of knowledge, extensive leadership capabilities and a track record of successful Indigenous transactions. This, combined with her excellent people engagement and communications skills, gives the Board confidence that she will continue to evolve the strong culture of AIOC.

Cody Church, chair of AIOC, says he and the board of directors are delighted to have Dubois join the AIOC as its inaugural CEO. “Alicia will be taking the AIOC to the next level, building on the solid foundation and momentum achieved by the team under the leadership of Interim CEO Matt Machielse’s leadership,” said Church.

Alicia joins the AIOC from CIBC where she developed and implemented CIBC’s Indigenous Markets strategy and framework. In this role, she established and proudly led an expert national Indigenous Markets team. At the AIOC she will continue her commitment to bolstering Indigenous economic prosperity and wellness by driving regional economic growth through meaningful business partnerships.

Alicia is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum. She actively contributes to awareness building and enhancing the positive national narrative around Indigenous finance and prosperity via speaking engagements with industry, governments and diverse audiences across the country. In 2019, Alicia was honoured with the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association’s inaugural Award of Distinction for her steadfast commitment to Indigenous prosperity and self-determination. Prior to her career in Indigenous financial services, Alicia practiced law at Alberta Justice, ENMAX Corporation and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.

“We are pleased to see a person of Alicia Dubois’ caliber coming aboard the AIOC. To be able to attract someone of her qualifications, speaks to the mandate and vision of the AIOC to help make the Indigenous people in Alberta true partners in prosperity. Alicia will no doubt help make that happen”

– Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

The new Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation board brings strong business and financial experience to support partnerships in prosperity.

Bill 14, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act, would set up a first-of-its-kind Crown corporation to facilitate Indigenous investments and job creation.

The province is forming a ministerial advisory committee that will guide the startup of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC).