The Osoyoos Indian Band has secured a $5.8-million loan to refinance existing debt.
The funding from the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) includes lower interest rates which could result in potential savings of about $144,000 a year.
"Financing through the authority benefits First Nation communities to access loans at fixed rates, over longer amortization terms, within a pooled borrowing setting," Ernie Daniels, CEO of the FNFA, explained in a news release.
Chief Clarence Louie said he has long been a supporter of First Nations financial institutions and more equitable access to capital for reserves.
"We need this to be able to pursue investment like other communities in Canada," Louie said.
The move follows the band's recent certification by the First Nations Financial Management Board (FNFMB). It can now access more affordable, longer-term financing to support further economic and social development.
The Osoyoos Indian Band owns and operates numerous successful businesses that have created extensive social and economic opportunities in the community and throughout the South Okanagan.
Brian Titus, chief operating officer of the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation said FNFMB certification gives First Nations the ability to access financing like any other government in Canada.
"It has allowed us to use these funds for refinancing existing debt, build infrastructure, and develop new business relationships and create jobs," he said.
The FNFMB and FNFA are First Nations-led fiscal institutions, created under the federal First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act.