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Working-Group-on-Natural-Resource-Development-Report-small

Working-Group-on-Natural-Resource-Development-Report-small

AdvancingPositive,

AdvancingPositive, ImpactfulChangeFor First Nations, other benefits resulting from joint ventures can include:• increasing the economic capacity of their members;• creating broader community economic development;• providing the opportunity to become more self-sufficient;• filling the gap created by a decline in traditional economic activities;• advancing nation-building or governance; and• creating opportunities for collaborative management, sharing responsibility, anddecision-making on natural resources.We observed that there is a need for an information network or central repository thatclearly outlines the skills available among the First Nations workforce and its businesscommunity. This database would serve a dual purpose of helping those who arelooking for opportunities and those in need of workers and services.Five Nations Energy IncorporatedFive Nations Energy Inc. emerged as a result ofdebt-to-equity financing from De Beer’s diamondmine. De Beers was in need of a transmission lineto supply its mine and five First Nations saw anopportunity to be that power supplier. This decisionhad the added benefit of building lasting energyinfrastructure for the remote communities toprovide a reliable power supply and much neededjobs to their members.Five Nations Energy Inc. also realized an opportunityto lease telecommunications capacity on theexisting power transmission corridor to the WesternJames Bay Telecommunications Network, whichis a company formed by the MushkegowukCouncil. This has enabled some of the First Nationsto provide high-speed Internet services to theircommunities, a service which is often lacking inremote areas of Canada.Page 31

AdvancingPositive, ImpactfulChangeTheme Four: Finance –Building Strategic PathwaysFirst Nations not only want to share in the financial benefits resulting fromresource development, but they also want to be equity participants and projectco-owners, as well as the business owners who supply these projects with goodsand services.While some First Nations are able to leverage and seize investment and ownershipopportunities, many First Nations suffer from a lack of access to capital, as wellas a shortage of critical knowledge and business acumen. This is especially truefor complex and capital-intensive resource development projects and relatedopportunities (e.g., major construction and service opportunities).First Nations financing requirements vastly exceed the capacity of traditionalAboriginal funding programs and institutions. Financial markets and relatedinstruments for natural resource development are mature and complex,requiring considerable capacity and know-how on the part of First Nations totake advantage of resource development opportunities. First Nations seekingpartnerships in resource sector projects have to seek capital without manystructures and supports or full advice on the risks and rewards of ownership andinvestment.Improved access to lending instruments will also assist in fostering the nextgeneration of entrepreneurs among First Nations. As such, we expect that othermatters will naturally be raised as part of a continued dialogue on financialliteracy and a growing entrepreneurial class, which are touched on elsewhere inthis report.Page 32

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