The Westbank First Nation is one self-governing First Nation that has benefited from the FNFA bond (Photo courtesy of Westbank First Nation)

The Westbank First Nation is one self-governing First Nation that has benefited from the FNFA bond (Photo courtesy of Westbank First Nation)

Westbank-based financial broker raises $170 million bond for 22 First Nations

The money will help First Nation governments build new infrastructure projects

The First Nation Finance Authority (FNFA) has issued its largest ever bond to date for 22 First Nations across Canada.

The finance broker — which is based in Westbank — announced on Tuesday that it’s raised over $170 million in its sixth bond to help First Nation governments build administrative buildings, hotels, schools and other infrastructure projects on their traditional territories.

READ MORE: Equality, Indigenous equality

FNFA president Ernie Daniels said the investment streams have already existed in Canada for over a decade.

“We get our authority from the First Nations Fiscal Management Act that was enacted and passed in Parliament in 2006,” Daniels said.

“That act enables us to work with First Nations to utilize their own source revenue and to get into capital markets and acquire long-term finance from investors for First Nation infrastructure projects.”

The FNFA has over twenty investors currently across North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Daniels said there have been numerous economic benefits from the bonds, which started being issued by the financial broker in 2014.

“In B.C. to date, we’ve issued $170 million to First Nation bands. The impact on the Canadian economy is very staggering,” said Daniels.

“Between 6,000-7,000 jobs have been created under the financing to B.C. and other First Nations throughout Canada. Our bonds have also had a $1 billion economic impact on the Canadian economy.”

Daniels said the bonds have been so successful that they’ve been overly-subscribed by investors, meaning there are more investors that have wanted to buy the bonds then there are made available.

The FNFA is a not-for-profit organization that provides First Nations governments access to both short-term and long-term loan option for infrastructure projects on their traditional territory.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

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