The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act has led to the creation of a crown-corporation focused on increasing Indigenous communities’ access to capital and technical support to invest in natural resource projects and related infrastructure.
Increasing the ability for Indigenous groups to invest in our province will help them become partners in prosperity. Communities will have the chance to develop new income streams that could be used to develop community-level programs and services.
The act has created the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) – a first-of-its-kind in Canada – and set out its mandate. The AIOC is now operational. Formore information, visit the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation website.
As this Crown corporation operates at an arm’s-length from government, the act has also established:
Board of directors
The act enabled a board of directors of up to 9 members that will manage and supervise the AIOC’s business and affairs and ensure the AIOC meets its mandate to facilitate investment by Indigenous groups.
The following board members were appointed on January 27, 2020 for a term of 2 to 3 years:
- Cody Church (chair)
- Stephen Buffalo (vice-chair)
- Heather Barnhouse
- Gary Bosgoed
- Strater Crowfoot
- Aroon Sequeira
- Peter Williams
- Donavon Young
To keep a reasonable level of oversight, the Government of Alberta will:
- appoint a deputy minister observer to sit as a non-voting member on the board of directors
- allow the minister of Indigenous Relations to issue directives
- require reports be submitted to the minister of Indigenous Relations for the purpose of reviewing the AIOC
The 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
Allowable financial tools
The act allows the AIOC to request approval to do any of the following:
- issue loan guarantees
- loan money or take on an existing loan of money
- purchase shares or other forms of equity
- enter into joint ventures or partnerships
AIOC has the authority to provide loan guarantees at this time.
- Summer 2019 – 8 roundtable discussions were held with nearly 200 leaders from Indigenous communities, the financial sector and natural resource development industries
- September 20, 2019 – Recruitment opened for the board
- September 25, 2019 – A Ministerial Advisory Committee was formed to provide advice on the design of the corporation before a board of directors was appointed
- October 8, 2019 – The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act was introduced
- October 15, 2019 – The AIOC Act passed
- October 30, 2019 – The AIOC Act received royal assent
- January 27, 2020 – The AIOC Board of Directors announced
- July 29, 2020 – The AIOC CEO announced
- September 17, 2020 – The AIOC announced its first loan guarantee to a consortium of 6 Alberta First Nations for their participation in the Cascade Power Project