CIB and First Nations Bank of Canada create first-of-its-kind loan product

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has announced a $100 million loan participation agreement with the First Nations Bank of Canada (FNBC) for enabling infrastructure projects in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.

Indigenous communities will have access to affordable and flexible financing for infrastructure development to create improved living conditions, new economic opportunities and housing.

“This first-of-its-kind loan product with FNBC catalyzes innovation in the financial services sector and in the Indigenous market,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. “Through this investment, Indigenous communities will work with FNBC to access critical financing to develop much-needed infrastructure in their communities and advance socio-economic reconciliation.

Indigenous communities’ limited access to affordable capital at flexible terms can constrain, impede or stop the achievement of community development projects. Enabling infrastructure can include site works, roadworks, water and wastewater management and utility connections, and is needed to support economic and community growth through residential, commercial or industrial developments.

FNBC, the largest Indigenous-owned and -led financial institution in Canada, will provide concurrent project lending. Together, this comprehensive financing package will enable Indigenous communities to realize their community and/or economic development plans faster.

More than 70 per cent of FNBC’s employees are Indigenous, and Indigenous clients comprise 90 per cent of its loan portfolio. FNBC provides services to First Nation, Métis and Inuit people and communities in urban areas and remote locations, including in Canada’s arctic region.

“This new loan program will make infrastructure projects in Indigenous Nations and communities more affordable and allow for more opportunities to develop Indigenous-owned lands,” FNBC president Bill Lomax said in a statement. “By partnering with CIB, we can leverage our expertise in working with Indigenous communities and support new projects in a way we have not seen before.”


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