FMB welcomes framework for economic reconciliation in Budget 2023, calls for additional measures

by pmnationtalk on March 28, 2023662 Views

FMB welcomes framework for economic reconciliation in Budget 2023, calls for additional measures

Proposed access to capital encouraging, but more supports are needed

OTTAWA – The First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB) welcomes Budget 2023’s announcement of $5 million in support the co-development of an Economic Reconciliation Framework, but calls for more substantial action in Budget 2024 to achieve meaningful outcomes.

“Building on the strong foundation set out in recent Indigenous-led initiatives, such as the National Indigenous Economic Strategy and the First Nations Financial Management Board’s RoadMap project, the Framework will help to define the role of federal and Indigenous organizations in advancing economic reconciliation through measures that reflect the unique needs, perspectives, and interests of Indigenous Peoples,” the budget states.

The FMB also welcomes news that the Canada Infrastructure Bank will provide loans to Indigenous communities to support them in purchasing equity stakes in infrastructure projects in which the bank is also investing. These loans will be sourced from the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s existing funding envelope. As well, Budget 2023 supports Indigenous economic participation in major projects with a proposed $8.7 million in 2023-24 for Natural Resources Canada to support deeper engagements with Indigenous partners, including Indigenous rights-holders, towards the development of the National Benefits-Sharing Framework. Further, the government says it will continue to explore, through engagement on the National Benefits-Sharing Framework, additional federal supports to increase access to capital for Indigenous groups to invest in major resource projects.

“These are first steps that point to the importance of economic reconciliation,” says FMB Executive Chair Harold Calla of measures in Budget 2023. “Meaningful implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [UNDRIP] in Canada requires a sharing of wealth and power. Budget 2023’s commitments to economic reconciliation and the participation of First Nations in major projects are examples of how this can happen.”

Budget 2023 also proposes measures to unlock the potential of First Nations lands, including the establishment of a new First Nations-led National Land Registry to provide First Nations communities with more opportunities to realize the economic benefits arising from local control over their lands.

In its pre-budget submission, the FMB called for government to undertake several measures to support economic growth in First Nations communities, including scoping out the creation of an Indigenous Development Bank to address financing gaps and spur growth in First Nations’ economies. The FMB also proposed the creation of an Indigenous Investment Commission to act as an investment asset management regime for First Nations, through which Nations could pool their investments, achieve economies of scale and receive better rates of return.

“We’re pleased to see that the federal government supports increasing access to capital for Indigenous groups to invest in major resource projects,” says FMB’s CEO Geordie Hungerford. “Moving forward, an Indigenous Development Bank is the way to achieve this. An Indigenous Development Bank, as proposed in our RoadMap Project, will be well positioned to address the unique capital needs of Indigenous economic development.”

The FMB’s RoadMap Project is a practical proposal for breathing life into UNDRIP. A pathway to economic reconciliation, RoadMap supports self-government through new fiscal powers and capacity building, while offering full optionality to First Nations.

About FMB

The First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB) is a First Nations-led nonprofit organization that supports First Nations in developing sound finance and administrative governance practices. The FMB was created under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) in 2006. Services offered are at no cost to First Nations. For more information on all products and services, visit


Media Contacts:
Helen Murphy
Senior Communications Manager
P: (343) 598-2606

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