Indigenous Resource Network Launches Ownership Changes Everything Campaign
August 9, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Calgary, AB – Today the Indigenous Resource Network launches its “Ownership Changes Everything” Campaign to advocate for Indigenous ownership in resource projects. The campaign calls on the government to implement a National Indigenous Guaranteed Loan Program, modelled on similar programs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.
“The problems our communities are facing is that there are few mechanisms to access the necessary capital for investing in projects and having equity” said executive director Robert Merasty. “There are real, tangible solutions. Having a National Indigenous Guaranteed Loan Program is a step the federal government can take that will help First Nations get the capital needed to become partners and owners of the projects on our own lands.”
A National Guaranteed Loan Program should be guided by the following principles:
- Guaranteed loans at competitive rates for Indigenous communities
- Support Indigenous people to have a seat at the table with decision making power
- No discrimination based on the resource type of projects
- Focused on Indigenous goals and values
A National Guaranteed Loan Program will help develop self-determination by developing ongoing sources of revenue for economic independence. Other mechanisms that could support this goal include an Indigenous infrastructure bank and promoting Indigenous metrics in ESG funding.
Merasty continued with “Our communities are faced with a choice between poverty or development. Indigenous ownership in major projects is a win-win for industry, Indigenous people and Canadians. A National Guaranteed Loan Program is a no-brainer to move that forward.”