Vancouver, Kelowna, Delta - May 2, 2023 (www.waternewswire.com) Investorideas.com, a global news source and expert investing resource reports on attending the recent First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) Values Driven Economy Conference held April 24th and 25th at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. The event featured over 1300 leading continental Indigenous, corporate and government experts to showcase successful Indigenous-industry deals in energy, mining, infrastructure and finance from around the world.
First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) Values Driven Economy Conference Panel April 25th - Indigenous-led Deals Supported by Cutting Edge Policy
Environmental protection is a key factor in decision making for Indigenous nations when considering participating in a major project. Highlighting the leadership of Biitigong Nishnaabeg and their work to come to an agreement with a proponent of a critical minerals mine located within the First Nation's territory, this panel discussed an example of how First Nations, the private sector and government departments and agencies can work together to ensure Indigenous-led solutions on environment impacts are at the forefront in the deal-making process.
The theme of this panel was "How do we build an inclusive tomorrow?' At every single stage, we should be looking at how to engage with Indigenous people."
Angie Bruce (Métis), Assistant Deputy Minister, Nòkwewashk, Natural Resources Canada told the audience, "We want meaningful engagement versus engagement. Five years ago it was just sharing information with First nations but we are starting to see a shift from Government and industry."
"For the first time I have seen Indigenous people at the table."
"I have seen a huge transition in just two years where industry now offers equity participation."
"Projects are being built with indigenous values for sustainability, for the seven generations."
She also said access to capital is a key issue. She wants to see projects being led by community.
Discussing how her Band took control of issues to provide confidence to members, Debi Bouchie (Ojibway), Chief Executive Officer, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg said they had their own environmental assessment team for their community to look at the land and water before the project and after.
Opening remarks: Angel Ransom (Nak'azdli Whut'en First Nation), Senior VP of Environmental Services, FNMPC
Moderated by: Valerie Helbronner, Partner, Torys LLP
The event also featured Indigenous artists in a vendor's area where First Nation's talent was in abundance.
Ray Natraoro is from the Coast Salish/Squamish Nation. Ray started carving in 1994 and was inspired by and learnt from Rick Harry and Simon Dick. He specializes in wood masks, rattles, totems as well as canoes. His family has been carving canoes for over a century and Ray himself has carved over 25 canoes to date.
Introducing Keynote speaker, Bill Morneau, Former Canadian Minister of Finance, Jennifer Bennett, Client Program Manager & Senior Environmental Engineer, Arcadis IBI Group (Wiikwemkoong First Nation) asked the audience how many of them personally knew a female Indigenous engineer. As only a few hands were raised she told the audience her story on her path to excellence from Wiikwemkoong as her mother told her to get educated in the United States and that she had a better chance to make it there versus Canada.
Bill Morneau, Former Canadian Minister of Finance with Moderator Jaimie Lickers (Onondaga Nation from Six Nations of the Grand River), Vice President, Indigenous Markets, CIBC
Jaimie Lickers (Onondaga Nation from Six Nations of the Grand River), Vice President, Indigenous Markets, CIBC asked Bill Morneau, "Where do you think we are on Indigenous relationships?"
Morneau said, "I had no previous experience and what I found was that Canada had very strong advocates from Indigenous and Metis. The challenge was, l did not hear the same things from all the different groups."
He went on to explain presenting a clear united plan that was supported by evidence would get better results and over the course of the discussion reiterated the importance of advocates.
He also noted the challenges in financing projects will only get bigger and that regulatory hurdles will become more challenging.
The April 25h panel, The Potential of First Nations Accessing Capital via Bonds and Other Financial Instruments, was introduced by Harold Calla (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Executive Chair, Financial Management Board.
He told the audience that investors are making the decision to be both socially responsible and inclusive and that we are seeing it evolve from ESG to ESGI (I) for Indigenous.
He discussed how looking at a map of Canada a lot of our natural resources are on or near Indigenous lands.
"Everyone has to acknowledge the need for economic reconciliation."
"We are not against development. We want responsible development."
"There is no path to net zero without Indigenous people."
One of his most promising remarks left me with the sentiment I took away from the Conference," The investment appetite for Indigenous ventures is there."
Dawn Van Zant, editor and founder of Investorideas.com
Board Member of One Spirit Non Profit - Standing Strong With The Lakota of Pine Ridge Reservation https://www.onespiritlakota.org/
Learn more about the conference and
Conference Speakers included:
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