By Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – A new strategic partnership has been formed that will support Indigenous communities in pursuing real estate and development opportunities.
Calgary-based Steel River Group, an Indigenous-owned diversified management and construction consortium, has announced a strategic partnership with PBA Group of Companies, a real-estate company also based in Calgary. The two companies bring together decades of commercial and residential land development experience.
This partnership has been made to enhance Indigenous investment and production opportunities while also allowing for community consultation in the planning, production, and ownership processes.
Steel River Group will work with PBA on a diverse scope of projects, including several developments and expansions in British Columbia using Steel River’s People-Public-Private-Partnership (P4) Model, which enhances Indigenous ownership on major projects.
Trent Fequet, Founder and CEO of Steel River Group, said, “A key focus for our relationship with PBA was around our P4 model. A lot of our Indigenous community partners are looking for additional resource development, building out some community concepts, industrial parks, commercial infrastructure — that’s all part of our P4 model.”
“If you look at a lot of major projects — it could be resort projects, hotel projects, pipeline projects, solar fields — any major infrastructure,” said Fequet. “When you look at the characters involved with the project, it’s the private sector and the major developers always in front.
“Then in turn, they look back at Indigenous communities after the projects are already conceptual, all the terms of the deal are already put together, they’ve got all the support from the Government they think they’re going to get, and the [Indigenous] community is the last group that they look at to support these projects.”
Steel River Group decided to create the P4 model to allow communities the opportunity to organically grow projects alongside the developers. “The minute you have an idea — you want to build a pipeline or a major highway — why don’t you ask the local communities to become owners? To sit at the ‘big boy table’ from day one, not after the fact.”
“Through the lens of Indigenous communities: they can go ahead and take an ownership stake in these projects. We help support the early fund development capital; we help with raising the money on behalf of Indigenous communities. We’ve developed an integrated consultation approach,” said Fequet. “We can lead the dialogue on consultation and ensure that the public sectors and the private sectors need to adapt to Indigenous communities.”
“We lead the dialogue and through that, I believe, the P4 model will make a lot of these major projects a lot more successful,” concluded Fequet.
As for the real estate company, PBA Group, CEO Patricia Phillips said, “Shared values are the foundation of great partnerships.”
“We are honoured to partner with Trent and the amazing team he has assembled at Steel River Group to build community-oriented, environmentally-friendly developments in the Steel River Ecosystem and beyond.”
Fequet said of the partnership, “A big part of our alignment with them [PBA] was their core values. They’re devoted to women, they’re devoted to giving back to communities, and they really have a mandate to help and support Indigenous communities going forward.”
For more information about Steel River Group, visit www.steelrivergroup.com