(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Axxcelus Capital Fund (“Axxcelus” or “the Company”), as advisor to Whitefish Lake First Nation #128 (“WFLFN” or “the Nation”), is proud to announce the closing of the Nation’s land acquisition. The Nation acquired over 2,600 Hectares of deeded fee simple land and 95 contiguous grazing leases located adjacent to the north and northeast portions of the Nation’s home reserve. The Nation is located 125 kilometers northwest of Edmonton, Alberta.
This newly acquired land and grazing leases will support the Nation’s growth for years to come. In the near-term the land will allow for a 1900% expansion of WFLFN’s cattle operations, providing significant economic and employment opportunities, in addition to added food security for the Nation. In the long term, the land may be converted to reserve land to support housing for the expansion of WFLFN’s membership. This purchase also provides WFLFN with almost 100 new grazing leases for cattle, allowing for cattle grazing from the west and southwest borders of the reserve all the way to the north and northeast borders.
“Today’s announcement is a monumental one for our proud Nation,” says Stan Houle, Chief of Whitefish Lake First Nation #128. “This deal is a significant step for Whitefish Lake First Nation #128 along our path to self-determination and economic renewal, and I could not be more excited to see the many ways our community will grow and thrive for years to come as a result of this transaction.”
Axxcelus was named as exclusive advisor on behalf of the Nation on this transaction. As a firm with a mandate to help to facilitate and support Indigenous ownership of major assets and capital project, the Company is extremely proud to have played such a pivotal role in this transaction.
“On behalf of the entire team at Axxcelus, we want to extend our congratulations to Chief Houle and the entire Whitefish Lake First Nation #128,” said Paul Poscente, CEO of Axxcelus. “We are happy to support the Nation’s vision and are excited to see what the future holds for WFLFN, knowing that the impact this deal will have for the community will be far-reaching and long-lasting.”
Financing for the deal was provided by the First Nations Bank of Canada, the first Canadian chartered bank to be independently controlled by Indigenous shareholders with its primary focus on providing financial services to the Indigenous marketplace in Canada.
“Since our founding in 1996, we have been solely focused on delivering value and providing best-in-class services to our customers as the Indigenous economy continues to grow,” said Keith Martell, CEO of First Nations Bank of Canada. “This deal is emblematic of the type of strategic transaction we are happy to support as we continue to champion Indigenous prosperity across the country.”
“We are very pleased with the First Nation Bank of Canada for providing the financing for this historic investment, as well as the high quality of work and professionalism of Axxcelus in assisting us to make it happen. This land purchase represents an important investment for our nation for generations to come. The increased land base will allow the Goodfish Lake Business Corporation to significantly expand our cattle operations, and will provide other economic opportunities for Whitefish Lake First Nation #128 in the future,” said Tom Jackson, CEO, Goodfish Lake Business Corporation.