The First Nations Financial Management Board supports good governance by providing tools and guidance and instilling confidence in economic and community development of Canada's First Nations.
I'm sure your ancestors are no different than our ancestors.
They set us up to be where we are today.
We have the responsibility to do the same for the generations that are coming.
And that means we need structures and systems in place that allow us as communities and aboriginal people to do that which ensures our success.
The strength of our communities, a number of First Nations across this country came together with common objective to solidify our abilities to raise revenue from our lands, to secure access to the capital markets.
And to do so in a way that created accountability and transparency framework that was created by First Nations institutions that was led by First Nations people.
I would like to think that our aboriginal and treaty rights and our constitutional rights provide us with something more than an opportunity to be a beneficiary but dependency based economy where welfare and shelter allowance are the bases of our existence.
The way forward, I'd like to describe the capital markets as like being in a swap meet.
People with money set up the tables. People who need money will come to the tables.
And then there's a conversation that takes place.
How much money do you need? How are you going to pay it back? How are you gonna pay?
All those things start to get asked.
Eventually there's a transaction. The people with money give it to the people who need money to accomplish things they need to do.
Last year the first debenture was issued by the Finance Authority for 90 million dollars.
They sold out in 20 minutes.
The debentures were sold out in 20 minutes.
The first debenture that was issued was at less than 3%.
The Membertou First Nation in Atlantic Canada saved $130,000 a month in debt service class.
They'd broken through the psychological barrier saying why do I need some outsider to come in and tell me I'm doing things right.
We are the First Nations Financial Management Board.
We now have the opportunity through acts like the Fiscal Management Act, that we constitute ourselves to create modern day institutions that respond to the realities that we face today.
To do so in a way that doesn't require we lose touch with our culture, traditions, language, and values.
The framework that we established in the Financial Management Board has been vetted by the rating agencies and investment banks.
We have to demonstrate to the people with money that if they bought our debentures, they would get their money back, plus their interest, and that there would be minimal risk.
We are part of world society.
We can benefit and contribute as much as anyone else can.
The First Nations Financial Management Board is an independent organization formed and run by First Nations for First Nations.
Our services are available at no cost.