THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – “NAN is currently developing a strategic and innovative strategy that will position our 49 First Nations as active partners in delivering and financing comprehensive regional transportation infrastructure across our territory in Ontario’s remote north,” said Grand Chief Harvey Yesno during his keynote address to the 5th Annual Ontario Mining Forum in Thunder Bay today.
“The development of transportation infrastructure will help our communities diversify their direct reliance on the mining economy while maximizing socio-economic benefits and providing new business opportunities that will help develop local economies and strengthen our Nation.”
Plans for Strategic Approach Shared with Mining Conference
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Harvey Yesno outlined plans for a strategic approach for infrastructure and community development in NAN territory in his address.
Mining accounts for 20 per cent of Canada’s exports to global markets, according to a 2013 Conference Board of Canada report, with Northern Ontario home to the largest mineral mining industry in Canada. Instead of waiting for infrastructure plans developed by industry and government, NAN is moving forward with the identification of corridor options based on First Nation knowledge of local topography, sacred sites, cultural heritage, and environment and resource development activities. This new approach will provide certainty for First Nations and the business community.
NAN is also developing a strategy to lead the planning, development, procurement and implementation of a regional transportation infrastructure plan to maximize the social and economic benefits across NAN territory.
NAN is investigating the possibilities of ‘bundling’ for public-private partnership (PPP) financing of multiple transportation development projects to increase funding and financing options from the public and private sector sources. A ‘bundling’ strategy will combine many public infrastructure projects on shared Treaty territories together to maximize potential funding solutions by combining and coordinating several public infrastructure projects together to access new and more significant sources of financing.