Natural Resources Canada announced $13.5 million in funding for the First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) as part of the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships (INRP) program.
This funding is part of the Budget 2022 commitment of $100 million over five years, starting in 2022–23, to expand the Indigenous Partnership Office (IPO) and the INRP to all regions in Canada.
It will provide opportunities for Indigenous communities across all regions in Canada to benefit from all types of natural resource projects, including critical minerals, and will contribute to advancing Canada’s net-zero by 2050 targets.
This funding will also support the FNMPC to empower member First Nations with the tools, capacity and advice to make informed business decisions concerning natural resource and infrastructure projects proposed in their territories.
“This long-term investment by Natural Resources Canada in our services will ensure that our national First Nations membership will continue to have access to the business capacity supports, free of charge, that are required to make informed business decisions about their participation in major projects,” said Chief Sharleen GaleChair of the Board of Directors, First Nations Major Projects Coalition. “This investment also comes at a time when our members are advancing their participation in projects that will contribute to the energy transition, including critical minerals and electrification, furthering our vision of First Nations playing a lead role in the co-development and ownership of major natural resource and infrastructure projects going forward.”
Further, the funding will support the implementation of FNMPC’s five-year strategic plan, which aims to increase Indigenous participation in the natural resource economy and increase awareness of the benefits of incorporating First Nations knowledge and environmental stewardship priorities in major projects.
FNMPC’s plan aims to increase Indigenous opportunities and participation in the natural resource sectors and enhance business relationships between Indigenous communities, governments and industry.
“It is critically important that, moving forward, major natural resource projects engage and involve Indigenous peoples in meaningful ways,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources. “First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities have been stewards of this land for generations. Ensuring Indigenous engagement and participation in resource projects going forward is a priority for this federal government — and it is critically important to economic reconciliation. This announcement is another step forward in ensuring that Indigenous communities will have the tools and capacity to engage and to benefit in meaningful, long term ways.”
Renewal and expansion of the IPO and the INRP program directly responds to feedback from Indigenous partners. This funding will support Indigenous communities and businesses in achieving their economic objectives in the natural resource sectors and facilitate the development of resilient, sustainable and inclusive natural resource sectors by advancing meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and promoting Indigenous leadership in the net-zero transition.
Featured image: Back row, left to right: Angie Bruce (Assistant Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada); Angel Ransom (Senior Vice President, Environmental Services, FNMPC); Niilo Edwards (CEO, FNMPC); Barry Vickers (Senior Vice President, Project Development, FNMPC); Mary McKay (Director General, Natural Resources Canada); John Hannaford (Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada) Front row, left to right: Chief Corrina Leween (Vice Chair, FNMPC); The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Natural Resources); Chief Sharleen Gale (Chair, FNMPC); Chief Jacqueline French (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, FNMPC); Simo’git Tsa Bux, Member of the Board of Directors, FNMPC); JP Gladu (Special Advisor, FNMPC)