Five Indigenous Nations in Northwestern Alberta make $20.5 million investment in Greenhouse Gas emission-reducing cogeneration unit for Alberta gas plant

Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation closes loan guarantee deal allowing five Indigenous Nations to economically benefit from stable income stream

CALGARY, AB, Dec. 15, 2023 /CNW/ – The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) has closed a $20.5 million deal that will provide five Indigenous Nations, now united as Niyanin Nations LP (Niyanin), the opportunity to partner as investors in a 15-megawatt cogeneration unit (the “cogen”) at the Wembley Gas Plant, in the County of Grande Prairie, with NuVista Energy Ltd. (NuVista).

With this investment, the Niyanin and NuVista partnership will own a majority interest in the cogen project. The terms of the transaction ensure long-term economic benefit to the participating Nations. NuVista is a publicly listed, Canadian-based oil and natural gas resource company.

NuVista believes that, as a Canadian energy company, it has a unique and important role to play in fostering Indigenous economic inclusion. For NuVista, the partnership with these five Nations is a natural progression of this role. The project is also another meaningful step for NuVista on its way to meeting its ambitious environmental goals, with the cogen offsetting over 9,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

Through their investment, Niyanin will be able to receive their share of economic returns from the project. Indigenous groups who have previously participated in similar AIOC deals are able to provide much needed supports and improvements in their communities because of the financial returns they’ve received through ownership. The creation of long-term and stable revenue streams for Indigenous communities is a tangible example of economic reconciliation in the province that supports long-term economic stability and greater independence.

The five Indigenous Nations of the Niyanin partnership include: 

  • Horse Lake First Nation
  • Duncan’s First Nation
  • Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation
  • Sucker Creek First Nation
  • Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada

To date, the AIOC has provided over $680 million in loan guarantees, directly impacting 42 Indigenous groups. The provincial crown corporation exists to serve as a catalyst for Indigenous prosperity and independence by providing loan guarantees for investments like this one, as well as other initiatives in Alberta’s natural resources, agriculture, transportation, and telecommunications sectors. 


David MacPhee, President, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada

“Indigenous ownership has been something we have worked towards for a long time. It is foundational to sustainable development on Indigenous traditional lands. Partnership in this project blazes a new path for environmentally sustainable opportunities, aligning with the concept of caretaking the land for future generations. This is one way the government can assist Nations to generate and sustain economic independence and make important improvements in our Nations. We are pleased to have created these partnerships with NuVista Energy, AIOC, and our neighbouring First Nations. We look excitedly towards the future of our Nations as this partnership continues.”

Jonathan Wright, CEO, NuVista Energy Ltd.

“NuVista is committed to delivering responsible energy. We have a continuous focus on environmental excellence and on ensuring the economic benefits we create for our shareholders also cause economic growth and benefits in the communities around us – especially in Indigenous communities. For us, the cogen partnership represents a deepening of our commitment to both of these tenets. We feel fortunate to share in the economic and environmental benefits of this project with the Nations of the Niyanin partnership.”  

The Honourable Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations for the Government of Alberta

“We have seen the direct benefits within Indigenous Nations and groups involved in previous deals as they receive their steady financial returns. I am so pleased to see five new Nations involved and becoming partners in Alberta’s economy. I continually look forward to the future of Indigenous peoples as the AIOC continues to facilitate Indigenous ownership positions in infrastructure projects across the province.”  

Chana Martineau, CEO, Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation

It is always heartening for me to see another group of new Nations continuing their journey towards the freedom and stability that comes from these investments, and for another company to show true action when it comes to reconciliation. This deal moves the total of loan guarantees the AIOC has provided to over $680 million, and we intend to keep this momentum going. Congratulations to Niyanin Nations LP and NuVista Energy Ltd. on this promising partnership.”

SOURCE The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation

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