This report, published when we were called Purpose Capital, seeks to answer a crucial question that has been under-examined in the Canadian impact investment market: What is being done by impact investors, and how can the sector contribute to the betterment of Indigenous communities in Canada?

This report responds to a need to better understand the nature of impact investing activity in Canada as it applies to Indigenous communities, how this market is evolving and maturing towards this specific population, and the areas where it may grow or need support. While the Canadian impact investing market is growing, the appetite for Indigenous impact investing is relatively unexplored. As such, this analysis of the state of Indigenous impact investing in Canada provides decision-makers and investors with important information to identify, assess and benchmark this ecosystem and its constituent parts.

While investing in Indigenous communities remains a relatively small segment of the overall social finance sector, recent developments are encouraging in terms of creating more consistent legislative and financial conditions, more product structuring, and the promise of greater connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Our analysis of current activity highlights significant opportunity for further growth in impact investing in Indigenous communities, which can be used to develop greater economic activity in multiple sectors and in a framework aligned with Indigenous values.

Looking forward, we see significant developmental opportunities for the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Governments must use a combination of mechanisms that are targeted at different market actors to develop the social finance marketplace. This is as true for Indigenous communities as any for any other population. Consistent leadership and patience are required to catalyze the growth of impact investing in Indigenous communities, but the results can be inspirational. Across the country, community and private sector leaders have created early examples of a new model of Indigenous development centered on local enterprise, and there is now the opportunity to leverage these precedents as a new partnership with Indigenous communities begins to unfold.