The Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies (NGC), the economic development arm of Ermineskin Cree Nation (ECN), has become the largest shareholder of First Nations Bank of Canada (FNBC).
In April, the two companies issued a joint release announcing that NGC had acquired an 18% stake in FNBC, a Canadian chartered bank that provides financial services to Indigenous peoples and advocates for the growth of the Indigenous economy.
“We are excited and most proud of this venture as it sets out to promote economic opportunity for Ermineskin Cree Nation,” ECN Chief Randy Ermineskin said in a statement. “With this opportunity comes greater success for sustainability and growth.”
In the release, ECN said becoming the largest shareholder of FNBC would support the Nation’s culture-based approach to promoting economic diversity and people development through economic participation, training and employment.
Founded in 1996, FNBC has more than 87% Indigenous ownership, including shareholder groups in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec.
“In 1996, the founders of First Nations Bank of Canada invested capital in creating a bank focused on serving Indigenous customers with the financial services, focus and respect they deserved from their financial institution,” said Keith Martell, president and CEO of FNBC. “Twenty-five years later, FNBC is still attracting like-minded Indigenous shareholders who appreciate the services we offer and the value creation we deliver to our owners.”
MLT Aikins lawyer Drew Lafond acted as counsel to NGC on this landmark transaction and is pleased to work with clients who are committed to advancing the economic development of Indigenous peoples. Learn more about our Indigenous practice group.