AFOA Canada launches new certification program aimed at closing the infrastructure gap facing Indigenous communities
OTTAWA, ON, November 10, 2022 – AFOA Canada has collaborated with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and TD Bank Group (TD) to develop a project financing certification program that will strengthen Indigenous peoples' and communities' abilities to structure and manage large infrastructure projects. The new certification program developed by AFOA Canada, focused on project financing and sponsored by the CIB and TD, will include modules focused on risk management and project financing, contracting and asset maintenance.
Indigenous communities face challenges with limited human and financial resources and capacity, and great demand to deliver on programs and services. The certification program will empower Indigenous communities to better understand project financing for large infrastructure projects, providing participants with more confidence to work with external consultants. The program will help build capacity in Indigenous communities to support future economic growth.
“Many Indigenous communities are on a journey from the management of poverty to the management of socio economic prosperity and that requires the development of new knowledge and skills,” said Terry Goodtrack, President and CEO, AFOA Canada, “Our organization supports the professionals overseeing that journey and the certification will provide the development of those skills. This collaboration with TD Bank Group and the CIB will allow us to train more people and address the barriers in advancing Indigenous infrastructure.”
“As part of the CIB’s mandate, we provide advisory services and build capacity for Indigenous participation in large-scale projects and are committed to the Government of Canada’s path to Reconciliation. By collaborating with AFOA Canada and TD Bank Group, we are supporting more equitable access to training, and education opportunities for Indigenous communities,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. “Enhanced project finance training will ensure Indigenous communities have the resources to access capital and develop infrastructure projects that prioritize local needs and deliver positive outcomes.”
“We are very proud to support AFOA Canada through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank's corporate citizenship strategy," said Doris Bear, Vice President, Indigenous Banking, TD Bank Group. "Through this unique certification program, professionals from Indigenous communities will be able to build capacity in key areas of large infrastructure initiatives, which will have a direct and tangible impact on many Indigenous communities.”
According to the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the infrastructure deficit across First Nations in Canada has been estimated to be between $25 to $30 billion.
Entering its 23rd year as an Indigenous Institution, AFOA Canada is the centre for excellence and innovation in Indigenous management, finance, and governance. It is the only organization in Canada that focuses on the capacity development and day-to-day needs of those Indigenous professionals who are working in all areas of management, finance, band administration, leadership, and program management.
AFOA Canada’s premise is that one of the keys to successful self-determination, creating a better life for Canada’s Indigenous people and a better future for the next generation lies in improving the management skills of those responsible for the stewardship of Indigenous resources.