Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The establishment of FNII has been underway since 2017. Here are some common questions about the institute.


What is FNII?

FNII will be an optional Indigenous-led institution to support First Nations and Indigenous organizations to plan, procure, own and manage their infrastructure assets on their lands. In 2017, First Nations leaders from across the country formed a Development Board to guide the creation of FNII. FNII will support those Nations and Indigenous organizations that choose to work with it to develop their infrastructure projects in a faster, more cost-effective, and sustainable manner. FNII is not in competition with, or duplicating roles of, regional Indigenous initiatives to assume responsibility from Canada for housing and infrastructure.

When will FNII be fully operational?

FNII will be fully operational once it has been established through an amendment to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA). It is expected that the process to enact amendments to the FMA will commence in 2022.

Why Legislation?

Federal legislation is required to create the jurisdictional space for interested First Nations to occupy, such as has been the case with the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA), First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), and First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC) institutions. This approach respects the right to self-determination of all First Nations. Each First Nation has the opportunity to decide if participation is right for them. The institutional design of FNII is being guided by a Development Board comprised of First Nations leaders from across the country. With guidance from the FNII Development Board, it is proposed to establish FNII as a shared governance institute, similar to the FNTC and FMB.

Can my Nation or organization use FNII services now?

Yes, while FNII is being established through legislation, services are being provided to a number of Nations and organizations to support the development of an infrastructure project business case. If you would like to learn more about developing a business case to get your project shovel ready, please check out our webinars. To find out how FNII can support your organization please visit our resources page.

How will FNII help participating First Nations achieve better outcomes through infrastructure development?

First Nations participating in the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) are already getting better access to capital, more fiscal powers, and better financial management systems, and as a result are growing their economies and improving the social outcomes within their communities. The FMA institutions support these efforts by helping to implement best practice standards, templates, software and training related to financial management, fiscal powers and a better credit rating.

FNII takes a similar approach with infrastructure. Interested First Nations will opt into using FNII services to implement the best practices and standards for infrastructure planning, procurement, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance. This will reduce the time to build infrastructure and extend the expected useful life of that infrastructure, delivering improved value for the money invested. It will raise participating First Nation infrastructure to national and international best practices.

How will FNII work with the other FMA institutions?

FNII will work with the other FMA institutions as follows:

  • FNFA: FNII supports development of infrastructure project business cases that meet best practices. Supporting more business cases to be prepared will mean that more projects could be ready to be financed. Business cases that meet best practices will improve the credit rating of borrowing Nations.
  • FMB: FNII supports better management through the entire asset lifecycle which will extend the useful life of the asset and support improved financial performance.
  • FNTC: FNII supports the development of more sustainable infrastructure to deliver quality services to members and residents on First Nations lands.

How will the FMA institutions support FNII?

The work of the other FMA institutions is complementary to FNII’s mission:

  • FNFA: Provides access to long term financing at favourable rates to build more First Nations infrastructure sooner.
  • FMB: Supports financial management systems of participating First Nations, promotes life-cycle infrastructure costing and builds the necessary capacity within First Nations to ensure fiscal sustainability.
  • FNTC: Helps participating First Nations implement their FMA fiscal powers, which generates the revenues required to finance the development and operation of infrastructure.