AIOC board gets down to business

Premier Jason Kenney and Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson join the first Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Board of Directors meeting.

“This will be a game-changer for Indigenous communities seeking to be owners of resource projects. It will also help all Albertans to get resource projects done. With the board now in place, the AIOC can now fulfil its mandate to enfranchise Indigenous communities in Alberta, to lift their people from poverty to prosperity by becoming partners in the energy projects that have created so much wealth for our province.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

With the board of directors now in place, the corporation can begin allocating up to $1 billion in investment support, such as loan guarantees, to qualified First Nations seeking to take an equity position in major resource projects. While the board sets up criteria to backup projects, the interim CEO, Matthew Machielse, has been meeting with Indigenous, industry and financial leaders, and learning about potential projects that may have lasting benefits for Indigenous communities.

“The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation will benefit Indigenous Peoples and all Albertans. Indigenous Peoples were the first entrepreneurs in this country and are open to doing business. I would like to thank the board for giving their time and extensive expertise to help the First Nations and Métis people of Alberta become true partners in prosperity.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

The board of this first-of-its-kind Crown corporation in Canada will be setting the AIOC’s strategic direction, overseeing management of the AIOC’s business and making investment support decisions that help to flow money back into Indigenous communities.

Board members include:

  • Cody Church, chair 
  • Stephen Buffalo, vice-chair
  • Heather Barnhouse
  • Gary Bosgoed
  • Strater Crowfoot
  • Aroon Sequeira
  • Peter Williams
  • Donavon Young

“Our goal as board members is to have Indigenous communities acquire meaningful economic participation that leads to social benefits from the sustainable development of our natural resources. The AIOC will achieve this by enabling significant Indigenous equity participation in commercially viable projects.”

Cody Church, board chair, AIOC

Quick facts

  • The AIOC will support Indigenous communities’ investment in natural resource projects and related infrastructure in the energy (which includes oil and gas, renewable energy and coal), mining and forestry industries.
  • Project proposals require a minimum Indigenous investment of $20 million. Indigenous communities can form coalitions to make that contribution.
  • Projects inside Alberta and in other provinces are eligible for support. Projects outside the province must benefit Alberta’s natural resource sector to be eligible.
  • 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.