FORT McKAY, AB / Sept 28, 2022 — Fort McKay First Nation (FMFN) announced today that it is joining 22 other First Nation and Métis communities in acquiring an equity stake in seven Northern Alberta pipelines.
The 23 Indigenous partners have created a new business entity, Athabasca Indigenous Investments (AII), to steward this investment. FMFN owns a five per cent stake in AII.
“This investment is the largest Indigenous energy focused investment in Canadian history,” said Chief Mel Grandjamb. “We are proud that FMFN played a key role in the negotiating and structuring this deal over the last several months.”
Pipelines included in the transaction are the Athabasca, Wood Buffalo/Athabasca Twin and associated tanks; Norlite Diluent; Waupisoo; Wood Buffalo; Woodland; and the Woodland extension. These assets are underpinned by long-life resources and long-term contracts, which provide highly predictable cash flows.
Enbridge, the largest pipeline company in Canada, remains the operator and majority owner.
“This investment gives FMFN the opportunity to participate in the financial benefits of the oil which is extracted from its traditional territory,” said Chief Grandjamb. “FMFN appreciates Enbridge’s efforts in providing this investment opportunity and in working closely with all 23 Indigenous communities. We look forward to being co-owners with them for decades to come.”
The Indigenous consortium is collectively acquiring an 11.6 per cent non-operating interest in seven pipelines operated by Enbridge in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta. AII is making a making a $1.12 billion investment, financed through a $880 million bond financing and $250 million equity loan guarantee from Alberta Indigenous Opportunity Corporation (AIOC).
The deal was 100 per cent financed and the debt will take 30 years to repay. Over this time the investment will be generating annual distributions to the 23 investors. Once the debt is repaid the returns will substantially increase. The lifetime of the assets are for the projected 50-70 year lifetime of the oilsands and will continue to generate income to the 23 investors over this time.
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Fort McKay First Nation has nearly 900 band members of Cree and Dene heritage, with approximately 450 living in the on-reserve section of the community of Fort McKay, located 60 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, on the shores of the Athabasca River. In addition to the Fort McKay community, FMFN has reserves 174A at Gardiner (Moose) Lake and 174B at Namur (Buffalo) Lake, approximately 65 kilometres northwest of Fort McKay. Moose Lake is the traditional home of what is now the Fort McKay First Nation.
A signatory to Treaty 8, Fort McKay First Nation’s mission is to assert Treaty rights, revitalize culture and language, promote education, build economic capacity, and support wellness to create opportunities for our Nation’s healthy and sustainable future.
The Nation also manages a business portfolio of 11 entities. Business revenues are invested in infrastructure, programs, services, and directly benefit both the community of Fort McKay and individual band members. Only five to 10 per cent of FMFN’s annual operating budget comes from federal or provincial governments.
For more information, contact:
Fort McKay First Nation Communications Department