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Connecting Indigenous Communities with Capital for Impact

SOCAP Global December 11, 2023

A Money + Meaning Podcast with Raven Indigenous Capital Partners

A Canadian social finance firm is demonstrating the value of a community-driven outcomes tool for positive impact. With a focus on revitalizing Indigenous economies, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners is partnering with communities to address social and environmental challenges and expand access to capital. Their innovative financial projects and products include Raven’s Indigenous Outcomes Fund and Community-Driven Outcomes Contracts, which address priority issues in Indigenous communities, such as health, climate, and workforce development. 

Three members of the Raven team discuss their work with community outcomes contracts during a new episode of Money and Meaning recorded at SOCAP23: 

In her role, Diome-Deer leads strategy and business development work shaped by her lived experience as a member of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) Nation within the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. “Raven’s vision is protecting those things, uplifting those things that are so near and dear to me, and really uplifting Indigenous communities in the process,” she said. 

While outcomes contract work can be challenging, Diome-Deer said, the potential rewards and positive impact are strong motivators. “I always go back to my why — it’s much harder to see my people suffer,” she said. “It’s much harder to see money used as a tool of extraction and a tool of hurting my people and my communities. Working to innovate, working to heal with capital is so much easier.”

Waterhouse said the Indigenous Outcomes Fund — the first of its kind in Canada — and Community-Driven Outcomes Contracts (CDOC) can serve as models to be used across various issues by different communities. “CDOC succeeds with certain characteristics in place: a community that is eager to see change and act upon their vision for change,” she said. “Secondly, there’s an evidence base supporting the intervention type they are proposing, which we can support in terms of the economics.”

Through Raven’s services and the efforts of its impact foundation, Cyr and his team aim to remove barriers to capital for Indigenous peoples while reshaping financial systems to allow for more flexibility and time. “We’ve created systems that were designed to act in a certain period of time, and they’re not particularly relevant — or at least not addressing the social, political, and economic issues that are in front of people generally across the globe these days, and specifically in Indigenous communities.”

Raven has seen the efficiencies of building a partnership framework with organizations and people to identify interventions and shape models for change, Cyr said. Deploying capital more efficiently and effectively can scale solutions for positive impact. “We want to affect a lot of people’s lives in a positive way,” he said.

Listen to the full Money + Meaning podcast to learn more about their efforts to create positive impact for Indigenous communities:

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Listen to more episodes of Money + Meaning here.

Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.

Equity and Inclusion / Impact Investing / Indigenous Communities
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