May 30, 2019, Vancouver – If Project Reconciliation succeeds in purchasing a significant interest in the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project (TMX) on behalf of participating Indigenous community partners, revenue can begin to flow to an innovative Sovereign Wealth & Reconciliation Fund.
Project Reconciliation is positioned to buy a 51-per cent stake in TMX. Indigenous communities in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan are eligible and have been invited to participate.
The Fund reflects one of Project Reconciliation’s underlying principles, which is to create a base of generational wealth for Indigenous communities in Western Canada.
“Selling a majority stake in TMX to Indigenous community partners is the best way for Ottawa to turn its words about reconciliation into action,” said Delbert Wapass, Project Reconciliation’s Executive Chair & Founder. “The income derived from Project Reconciliation’s interest in TMX along with the yield from the Sovereign Wealth & Reconciliation Fund will provide the basis for economic sovereignty for generations to come.”
TMX ownership would be a game changer for the participating Indigenous community partners. A 51-per cent ownership stake would yield an estimated $12.5 billion in earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) over the next 50 years. Of this amount, 80 per cent (approximately $200 million per year) would be re-invested under the Fund into infrastructure-based assets that could include environmentally sustainable initiatives. The remaining 20 per cent would be distributed to the participating Indigenous community partners.
“TMX can be a pipeline to reconciliation if we seize this moment. It’s time we begin managing wealth and not poverty,” said Shane Gottfriedson, the project’s B.C. Regional Director. “It makes sense the owners of the traditional lands found above oil reserves should benefit when those resources are sent to market.”
The federal government has already signaled its interest in proposals that include Indigenous involvement. Wallace Fox, the Alberta Director, said the Fund makes Project Reconciliation an ideal owner. “Indigenous involvement in energy infrastructure is a win-win. Our Sovereign Wealth & Reconciliation Fund will improve lives. And majority Indigenous ownership will ensure environmental stewardship over land and waters,” he said.
Wapass, Gottfriedson, and Fox are all former chiefs. When established, the Fund would align fully with the principles outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.