Read our latest featured insights
Economic Cost of Skills Vacancies
Focus Area—Canadian Economics
Canadian Human Resources Metrics Benchmarking
Focus Area—Human Resources
Measuring Digital Trade
Transitioning to Jobs in the Clean Economy
Focus Area—Innovation & Technology
Inside the Powerful New Partnerships Reshaping Canada’s Major Project Landscape
Spokesperson: Matthew Belliveau
Updated: September 29, 2022
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities across Canada are emerging as successful major project leaders, but not all of them have the necessary resources to make informed decisions, manage risks, and finance large-scale investments in their futures.
Major projects are massive drivers of economic activity in Canada. Over the next decade, they are projected to generate $540 billion in capital spending while acting as a major source of job creation across all regions of the country.
Despite the profound impacts major projects can have on Indigenous lands, resources, and people, Indigenous communities have often lacked input into these development decisions. But they have persevered and secured legal victories asserting their rights. Many have also formed mutually beneficial relationships with industry to mitigate project impacts and produce community benefits.
Increasingly, Indigenous communities are seeking ownership in major projects. As co-owners, they can form deeper partnerships with industry and pursue greater decision-making power and long-term, stable revenue generation.
Our research explores the challenges Indigenous communities face and the best practices that industry, governments, and lenders use to support Indigenous ownership while delivering major projects on time and on budget.
See our latest releases on Indigenous ownership.
Through early engagement, trust-based relationships, and creative transaction structures, Indigenous communities and project proponents are de-risking investments in major projects.
Most Indigenous communities lack access to affordable capital to acquire meaningful major project ownership. Successful but geographically limited financing programs must be expanded to address this issue.
Métis and Inuit communities lack access Indigenous-led institutions that facilitate major project ownership. A distinctions-based approach is needed to bridge this gap.
Remote communities can benefit from shared capacity and resources that take into account their small scale and funding programs that consider their low revenues and high project costs.
The federal government can further de-risk major project investments involving Indigenous co-owners by clarifying how its policies will impact project returns.
“Creative partnerships between Indigenous communities and industry have potential to deliver major projects with greater certainty and shared prosperity. Canada can be a world leader in supporting the efforts behind this momentum.”
Senior Research Associate
Indigenous ownership is rising across Canada’s $540 billion major project landscape, with the potential to unlock new investment and advance economic reconciliation. Driving this trend are Indigenous communities seeking stable, long-term revenues and greater decision-making power over projects impacting their territories. Industry is also awakening to the strengths and increased certainty Indigenous co-owners can bring to their operations.
Impact paper | 25-min read | September 29, 2022
Major project agreements are evolving in Canada. Indigenous groups are increasingly seeking equity agreements over other types of arrangements. Why is this significant? Equity gives Indigenous groups whole or part ownership in a company or project.
Online experience | 8-min read | February 7, 2022
For a deeper conversation on Indigenous ownership, please reach out to Matthew Belliveau
For all requests, including reports and interviews, please contact:
*From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET; after hours, please send an e-mail.
Access to the Conference Board’s reports is free of charge to professional journalists upon request.
Our experts are available to share research insights. Contact us.
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing e-mails from The Conference Board of Canada. You can unsubscribe at any time.