On-Site Magazine

Financing Indigenous community development projects

By Adam Freill   

Financing Infrastructure

Canada Infrastructure Bank and First Nations Bank of Canada create first-of-its-kind loan product to help fund infrastructure projects.

FNBC CEO Bill Lomax (left) and CIB CEO Ehren Cory. (CNW Group/Canada Infrastructure Bank)

A $100-million loan participation agreement between Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the First Nations Bank of Canada (FNBC) will bring new infrastructure to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.

The program will provide Indigenous communities with access to affordable and flexible financing to unlock enabling infrastructure development that can support improved living conditions, new economic opportunities and housing.

When announcing the program, the banks explained that limited access to affordable capital at flexible terms can constrain, impede or stop the achievement of community development projects for Indigenous communities.

The loans being made available can be put towards such projects as site works, roadworks, water and wastewater management, and utility connections; projects needed to support economic and community growth through residential, commercial or industrial developments.


“This first-of-its-kind loan product with FNBC catalyzes innovation in the financial services sector and in the Indigenous market,” stated Ehren Cory, CEO of Canada Infrastructure Bank. “Through this investment, Indigenous communities will work with FNBC to access critical financing to develop much-needed infrastructure in their communities and advance socio-economic reconciliation.”

To pair with the CIB’s commitment, FNBC will provide concurrent project lending. Together, the comprehensive financing package will enable Indigenous communities to realize their community and/or economic development plans faster.

“This new loan program will make infrastructure projects in Indigenous Nations and communities more affordable and allow for more opportunities to develop Indigenous-owned lands,” added Bill Lomax, president and CEO of First Nations Bank of Canada. “By partnering with CIB, we can leverage our expertise in working with Indigenous communities and support new projects in a way we have not seen before.”

FNBC is the largest Indigenous-owned and -led financial institution in Canada, providing services in urban areas and remote locations, including in Canada’s arctic region. More than 70 per cent of its employees are Indigenous, and Indigenous clients comprise 90 per cent of its loan portfolio.





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