By Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – On January 20, 2022 four First Nations in Alberta announced an economic alliance called the First Nation Capital Investment Partnership (FNCIP), which was created in order to pursue ownership of major infrastructure projects in Alberta.
The alliance is comprised of the Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, and the Paul First Nation.
Billy Morin, Chief of Enoch Cree Nation, said that the FNCIP is a step towards creating a self-sufficient nation.
“Working responsibly with industry and building partnerships supports our long-term vision of becoming a self-sufficient Nation,” he said.
“Growing our economic opportunities will help strengthen the well-being of all of our people. By passing down the values of our ancestors and embracing new ideas, we can enhance the prosperity of our Nation for generations.”
Treaty 6 Grand Chief and Chief of Alexander First Nation, George Arcand Jr., echoed Morin’s sentiments by saying, “This is an historic moment of collaboration between our Nations. Our desire to build sustainable commercial partnerships isn’t about immediate financial benefit – it is about creating intergenerational wealth for the next seven generations.”
However, big business is not the only goal of the partnership, as Arcand believes that the FNCIP will provide them the opportunity to take care of the land, “We have a greater responsibility than just building business. It is up to our people to ensure a healthy, vibrant future for our communities – one that values economics, responsible governance, and environmental stewardship equally.”
The FNCIP has selected Axxcelus Capital Advisory Partners as the exclusive financial advisor to source, evaluate, structure, and finance opportunities on behalf of the alliance.
Paul Poscente, the CEO of Axxcelus Capital Advisory Partners, said, “We congratulate the communities in forming this partnership and are honoured to represent them as they continue to build economic sovereignty for their Nations.”
Poscente has also been quoted as saying that this is the first time in Alberta’s history in which First Nations came together to invest and acquire assets. He also believes that there are no other partnerships like this in Treaty 6 territory.
And while Poscente has said that the alliance has received much interest from other First Nations who would like to join the alliance, Tony Alexis, chief of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, has said that they will not be accepting other Nations.
“For now, we’ll be working with the four nations,” said Alexis.
However, Alexis believes that other nations will eventually form their own partnerships similar to the FNCIP. “This partnership is the way of the future for First Nation communities,” he said. “We are reclaiming community care and collective sovereignty, which will bring our communities back to the shared wealth we once had thousands of years ago.
“Entrepreneurship and collaboration is part of who we are. With qualified professionals on our team, our industry partners, and our intergenerational knowledge, we are stronger together.”
The FNCIP are expecting to release details about their upcoming projects in a few weeks.