FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mikisew Cree First Nation joins 22 other Indigenous communities in historic pipeline partnership with Enbridge Inc.
$1.12 billion deal is the largest energy-related Indigenous economic partnership transaction in North America.
Mikisew Cree First Nation, in partnership with 22 other First Nation and Métis communities, has acquired an 11.57% collective non-operating interest in seven Enbridge-operated pipelines in northern Alberta, for $1.12 billion.
The seven pipelines involved in the deal move almost half of all the crude oil from Northern Alberta’s oil sands.
“This is a game changing deal for Indigenous communities in the Athabasca region, and across Canada, and Mikisew Cree First Nation is immensely proud to be part of it,” said Mikisew’s acting Chief, Roxanne Marcel. “We are setting a new precedent for Indigenous business partnerships. Partnerships in which we are not merely consulted but engaged.”
“This deal secures a transformative and sustainable return on investment for Mikisew Cree First Nation and our fellow Indigenous partners,” Marcel continued. “It is an opportunity to further our self-determination through economic sovereignty and secure prosperity for generations to come. We look forward to working with Enbridge in the years ahead.”
A newly created corporate entity, Athabasca Indigenous Investments (Aii), will steward the investment, representing the 23 Indigenous and Métis communities involved in the deal.
In addition to the non-recourse financing secured by Aii, Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, a provincial Crown Corporation which bridges the gap for Indigenous communities seeking commercial partnerships, was able to back an equity loan of $250 million. This negates the need for the Indigenous and Métis communities to contribute any of their own capital.
“Today’s announcement is historic for all parties involved, as today’s newly announced partnership marks the largest energy-related Indigenous economic partnership transaction in North America,” said Chana Martineau, CEO of AIOC. “I could not be prouder of AIOC’s role in this precedent-setting deal. When we talk about major capital project opportunities for Indigenous communities and groups through AIOC, this deal highlights everything AIOC represents – significant, multi-generational projects that will drive Indigenous economic prosperity for years and years to come.”
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.
“We are very pleased to be joining our Indigenous partners in this landmark collaboration,” said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge. “We believe this partnership exemplifies how Enbridge and Indigenous communities can work together, not only in stewarding the environment, but also in owning and operating critical energy infrastructure. We are looking forward to working with the Aii and deepening our relationship well into the future.”
The transaction is expected to close next month.
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Notes to editors:
Athabasca Indigenous Investments is a newly created limited partnership of 23 diverse Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 First Nations and Métis communities located in northern Alberta, that will steward the communities’ investment in the Enbridge-operated pipelines.
Participating Indigenous communities are:
Mikisew Cree First Nation
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Beaver Lake Cree Nation
Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement
Chard Métis Nation
Chipewyan Prairie First Nation
Conklin Métis Local 193
Cold Lake First Nations
Elizabeth Métis Settlement
Fishing Lake Métis Settlement
Frog Lake First Nation
Fort Chipewyan Métis Local 125
Fort McKay First Nation
Fort McKay Métis Nation
Fort McMurray 468 First Nation
Heart Lake First Nation
Kehewin Cree Nation
Whitefish Lake First Nation (Goodfish)
Willow Lake Métis Nation
Saddle Lake Cree Nation
Onion Lake Cree Nation
McMurray Métis Local 1935
Kikino Métis Settlement