Indigenous firms, First Nation to create investment dealer with Scotiabank

By Melissa Shin  and  Ian Bickis, Canadian Press | February 23, 2024 | Last updated on February 26, 2024
2 min read
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Canada’s first Indigenous-owned investment dealer could soon be a reality as Scotiabank is partnering with two Indigenous development corporations and a First Nation to launch one.

Cedar Leaf Capital Inc., which submitted an application with the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization on Thursday, will be majority-owned by Nch’ḵay̓ Development Corp., Des Nedhe Financial LP and Chippewas of Rama First Nation.

Together they will own a 70% stake, while Scotiabank will initially hold 30% and control the investment dealer.

Over time, Scotiabank intends to reduce its controlling stake so Cedar Leaf will become a fully Indigenous-owned and led investment dealer.

“We’re hoping to foster greater participation from our members in capital markets, and create commercial opportunities for ourselves through this initiative,” Mindy Wight, CEO of Nch’ḵay̓ Development Corp., told “And we want to assist those organizations that are interested in working with Indigenous communities in meeting their reconciliation commitments.”

Cedar Leaf is set to be run by Clint Davis, who is Inuk from Labrador and has more than 20 years of experience with financial institutions and Indigenous organizations in Canada. 

Cedar Leaf will offer Canadian institutional clients financial advisory services, with a focus on fixed-income offerings. Davis said in an interview that products and services for retail clients could be launched in future, but that the organization would focus first on establishing a track record.

“There is a growing [number] of individuals who want to do something that has a positive impact as it pertains to reconciliation,” Davis said of the demand for reconciliation-focused investment products. “And on the Indigenous side, there’s a growing middle class with capital to invest.”

Wight said the Cedar Leaf news was well received by members of the Squamish Nation, for which the Nch’ḵay̓ Development Corp. is the economic development arm.

“When the announcement came out Friday, I saw on Facebook that some members were talking about investing and what it meant to them as individuals,” she said. “That was really cool, because it’s starting the conversation [about money] for some people.”

Scotiabank CEO Scott Thomson said the bank was proud to help launch an organization that will expand access within capital markets to Indigenous communities.

“Reconciliation and deepening relationships with Indigenous communities are critical priorities,” said Thomson in a statement on Friday. “While the economic participation of Indigenous communities has seen significant advancement, much more must be done.”

Wight said she hopes initiatives like Cedar Leaf will create more opportunities for young Indigenous professionals to work within financial services and banking — and that they become more common.

“If this is now not a unique structure but just becomes part of what the industry supports, and there are more organizations like Cedar Leaf [in future], I think that would be a success,” Wight said.

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Melissa Shin

Melissa is the editorial director of and leads Newcom Media Inc.’s group of financial publications. She has been with the team since 2011 and been recognized by PMAC and CFA Society Toronto for her reporting. Reach her at You may also call or text 416-847-8038 to provide a confidential tip.
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Ian Bickis, Canadian Press

Ian Bickis is a reporter with The Canadian Press, a national news agency headquartered in Toronto and founded in 1917.