SASKATOON – The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has achieved financial close on a $15.4 million loan to Kahkewistahaw Business Landing Limited Partnership, wholly owned by Kahkewistahaw First Nation (KFN). The CIB’s investment will accelerate the Kahkewistahaw Landing Infrastructure urban reserve project.
The long-term financing is the CIB’s second opportunity under the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII) and its first investment in Saskatchewan. The First Nations Bank of Canada and Indigenous Services Canada have also contributed to the project.
The CIB’s investment will be used for enabling infrastructure such as road works, utilities and broadband connectivity. The enabling infrastructure will allow KFN to build a multi-use gathering place that will house: a medical centre providing culturally sensitive social services, commercial and office space, a conference centre and hotel and the headquarters for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.
Kahkewistahaw Landing will help foster greater self-sufficiency and independence for First Nation businesses and professionals by improving their access to the provincial business capital of Saskatoon. The investment will benefit the KFN community members and the broader Indigenous population that resides in Saskatoon.
We are proud of this partnership which will help deliver socio-economic benefits to the Kahkewistahaw community in Saskatoon. This investment is the second of many to come under our Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative. We are committed to collaborating with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities to help develop inclusive and sustainable infrastructure.
Working with the CIB has been a very positive experience for us. The CIB really took the time to understand every aspect of this project and work with our team as a true partner in developing a financing model that works within our specific circumstances. We’re extremely pleased to have them as our project partner alongside the City of Saskatoon, Indigenous Services Canada, the First Nations Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. We thank all for helping Kahkewistahaw First Nation in this step towards sovereignty.
I see this financing structure as a game changer in terms of First Nations’ infrastructure project financing. The missing link for Indigenous community led major projects, has always been a good mechanism to allow for financing the underlying infrastructure which has hindered the progress of many First Nation’s projects based on the issues surrounding on-reserve lending. The CIB’s financing is a very elegant model that addresses these issues and I believe will be a major catalyst for the development of many First Nations infrastructure projects across Canada.
Today’s announcement demonstrates the importance of the partnerships created as a result of the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative. The CIB’s loan enables Kahkewistahaw First Nation to build vital infrastructure that will support and strengthen their community.
Investments in infrastructure are essential to support Indigenous self-determination and building strong nations. Our government is committed to working with Indigenous communities to help close infrastructure gaps by investing in clean water, housing, schools and health facilities that will support on-reserve job creation and promote healthy, safe, and prosperous communities.
Congratulations to Chief Taypotat and Kahkewistahaw First Nation Council and team for being the first First Nation in Saskatchewan to secure this innovative financing through the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The investment KFN is making in the City of Saskatoon is very significant for our community. We are grateful they have chosen our community for this development. As we see growing interest and capacity among First Nations to invest in large scale urban developments like this, financing solutions are needed to facilitate the required infrastructure and servicing. This CIB agreement will help ensure benefits for generations to come for both Kahkewistahaw First Nation, the City of Saskatoon and the Province. It will support opportunity and growth for everyone here.
- An urban reserve is defined as land within a city which has been purchased on the open market by a First Nation and granted reserve status by the Federal Government.
- The CIB has a commitment to invest $35 billion over the long-term across its priority sectors, and within that overall commitment, a target to invest $1 billion in partnership with and for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples.
- Through the ICII, CIB’s investment team will invest in community-based projects which provide a service and a direct benefit to an Indigenous community or communities to help close the infrastructure gap.
- The CIB’s investments are subject to approval by its Board of Directors.