“There is an idea in some corners of Canada that First Nations are opposed to oil and gas development. In fact, what we want is to be partners and owners in energy projects, and benefit from the development of resources from our territories,” said Chief Roy Fox, chair of the IRC Board. “For that to happen, we need the investment community to be willing partners.”
Ensuring that ESG (environmental social and governance) funds value Indigenous participation is key to ensuring that First Nations can access capital that has long been denied their communities. “ESG metrics have been focused almost exclusively on GHG emissions. It’s time to give Indigenous participation in projects more weight, if the financial community is truly committed to reconciliation,” said Chief Billy Morin. “There is an opportunity for everyone to win here.”
Conventional and oilsands production have allowed hundreds of Indigenous businesses to prosper and grow. Meanwhile, pipelines, LNG terminals, power generation, hydrogen and carbon capture projects have all provided major opportunities for Indigenous equity positions in the past three years.
“The movement to divest from the fossil fuels is actively harming our economic prospects,” said Stephen Buffalo, President of IRC. “First Nations have solutions for protecting the environment while ensuring we can provide affordable energy to a world that needs it. Instead of abandoning our industry to others with lower ethical and environmental standards, the investment community can work with First Nations to make sure Canadian oil and gas can get to global markets.”
Members of the delegation include Chief Roy Fox (Kanai Nation/ Blood Tribe), Chief Greg Desjarlais (Frog Lake First Nation), Chief Billy Morin (Enoch Cree Nation), and Stephen Buffalo (CEO & President, Indian Resource Council).
In addition to meetings with the chartered banks and major investment firms, the delegation will participate in a panel at the Albany Club to share their message.