Indigenous group signs deal with companies behind proposed nuclear reactor in New Brunswick

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Robin MacLennan

Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

North Shore Mi’kmaq Tribal Council (NSMTC) and its seven First Nation member communities have signed equity agreements with Moltex Energy Canada Inc. and ARC Clean Technology Canada, Inc. (ARC).

These ‘first-of-a-kind’ agreements in the field of small modular reactor (SMR) technology will enable NSMTC and its member communities – Oinpegitjoig, Ugpi’Ganjig, Natoaganeg, L’nui Menikuk, Tjipogtotjg, Metepenagiag, Amlamgog – to share in Moltex and ARC’s plan to develop advanced nuclear technology in New Brunswick and around the world.

“As Indigenous people, we believe that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future,” said Jim Ward, general manager, NSMTC. “With this investment, we are building a legacy for our youth, as well as our communities and the environment.

“We are laying the groundwork for a prosperous future and opportunities that can be passed down for years to come.”

NSMTC and its member communities are making financial commitments to Moltex and ARC through separate agreements that result in them receiving $2 million in share value from Moltex and $1 million in share value from ARC. While details are confidential, both deals have been structured in recognition of the key role First Nations play in New Brunswick’s energy future. The number of shares received will depend on future company valuations at the close of later funding rounds.

“We couldn’t be happier to have both NSMTC and its member communities as equity owners in Moltex Moltex CEO Rory O’Sullivan said in a statement. “We have worked closely with NSMTC for years, building a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect.

“Taking our partnership to this new level reinforces the strength of our relationship and brings our shared vision for the future into sharper focus.”

Since establishing their businesses in New Brunswick, ARC, and Moltex have prioritized engaging with and including First Nation communities. Beyond offering equity ownership opportunities, the companies are dedicated to creating additional avenues for the advancement and prosperity of First Nation people in New Brunswick, including opportunities in training, employment, procurement, and business development.

With the help of Saa Dene, a company focused on Indigenous inclusion through economic and social participation in the global economy, NSMTC conducted thorough due diligence to ensure that Moltex and ARC’s technologies and values harmonized with Indigenous teachings of honouring and respecting the Earth and its resources.

Details of the equity agreements were announced at the Saint John Arts Centre at a news conference attended by Indigenous leaders, government representatives, industry partners, and the media.

“As we’ve learned more about ARC and Moltex through our work with them over the years, we’ve come to understand their innovation and technology as one part of the greater effort against climate change,” said Chief George Ginnish, CEO, NSMTC and Chief of Natoaganeg First Nation. “We found that both companies are dedicated to clean energy and waste reduction, which align with our values of a sustainable legacy for generations to come.”

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