First Forum on Indigenous-led Projects Opens in Toronto

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TORONTO – Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, Marten Falls First Nation states, “It’s crucial that First Nations are not only at the table on these large-scale infrastructure projects, but that they are spearheading them to bring cultural perspective and knowledge to major developments. With Indigenous leadership, major projects will be developed sustainably and efficiently, ensuring the benefits are shared by all. Marten Falls is proud to be a proponent of our own Nation’s future and advancing economic reconciliation in Canada.”

Canada’s first and only forum to exchange ideas and paths forward for Indigenous-led projects opens in Toronto. The Indigenous-led Projects Forum (ILPF) is bringing together ground-breaking leaders from Indigenous, Industry and Government to discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges facing Indigenous proponents today.

The event is being organized by Indigenous Learnings Inc. and focuses on the most complex topics facing Indigenous proponents including capital financing, equitable partnership models, construction, and procurement practises, among others.

Key themes of the two-days ILPF centre on infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire and Indigenous ownership in Ontario’s electricity transmission network. Notable Indigenous proponents on First Nation-led Major Projects across Canada are also sharing their knowledge and best practises.

Minister of Mines, George Pirie will provide a keynote address.

Michael Fox, Partner at Indigenous Learnings Inc. comments, “Its time to start focusing on the unique needs and interests of First Nations as developers, investors and owners in major infrastructure projects. There is a new era in Canada – one where First Nations are either leading or partnering to advance some of the country’s largest economic projects both on and off their traditional lands.  The Indigenous-led Projects Forum is bringing awareness to the emerging opportunities for First Nations, Industry and Government in these projects.”

The three proposed northern road projects into the Ring of Fire are just some of the Indigenous-led projects on the ILPF agenda. Chiefs from both Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation are speaking at the forum about their unique approaches as First Nations proponents.

Following last week’s launch of Hydro One’s industry-leading 50-50 equity model with First Nations on new large-scale transmission line projects, panel discussions on equity financing solutions and future transformations across Ontario’s energy network are also a highlight of the forum’s agenda.

Qasim Sadique, Partner at Indigenous Learnings Inc. says, “We intend this to be the first of many future forums focused on Indigenous-led projects. The outcome is to create new spaces for dialogue, knowledge sharing and reciprocal learning for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and organizations. It’s time to collaborate on new models and solutions that will encourage improved stability and success for Indigenous proponents.”

To register either in-person or online, and for more information on the Indigenous Led Projects Forum, visit www.indigenousledprojects.com