Our Mission

To empower Indigenous entrepreneurs with the capital and expertise they need to succeed.

Our Story.

Aki Foods plant

As a nation, Canada has come to an inflection point in its relationship to Indigenous people. After movements like Idle No More, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Canada’s 150 Celebrations, we cannot continue to ignore the injustice and cruelty that have marred our history, nor the effects they’ve had on our current state. Reconciliation has become a household word, but the system has thus far remained rigged against Indigenous success.

Indigenous people in Canada are now struggling to remove impediments to economic inclusion, growth, and wealth. We are working uphill against structural hurdles, legislative barriers (like the Indian Act), policy, and regulatory barriers to moving into a reconciliation economy.

Aki geo-thermal coils

Because of these barriers, Indigenous entrepreneurs who work hard to get ahead don’t have access to the same resources as their non-Indigenous counterparts. Indigenous entrepreneurs cannot, or do not want to, access traditional capital, which slows down growth. They do not have capacity-building support or expertise in their communities, even though their entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Economic reconciliation is a non-starter, as Indigenous entrepreneurs are rarely able to scale their businesses, even if they have strong ideas and product offerings.

Raven Indigenous Capital Partners was founded as a solution to this oft-seen problem. We use existing structures - impact investing and strong relationships in the Indigenous community - to breathe life into a re-emerging Indigenous economy. Our namesake, the Raven, is central to rebirth and transformation in Indigenous cultures. We endeavour to use the element of transformation in our work, creating an equitable and prosperous future for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

What we Do.

  • We Build Strong Business Foundations

    Our team works with entrepreneurs to ensure that they are investment-ready. We point them to the resources they need to build strong business models and product offerings.

  • We Provide Bespoke Technical Assistance

    Every social enterprise is different and has different needs, so we customize our approach to each entrepreneur.

  • We Broker Win-Win Relationships

    Our managing partners have worked extensively with the Indigenous community in Canada. We give social entrepreneurs the opportunity to access the resources they need from someone they trust, while giving investors the opportunity to invest in competitive returns and long-term social and environmental impact.

Our management team

Jeffrey Cyr

Jeffrey Cyr

Managing Partner

For nearly 20 years, Jeffrey Cyr has provided strategic leadership for Indigenous, not-for-profit and government organizations.

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Jeffrey Cyr

For nearly 20 years, Jeffrey Cyr has provided strategic leadership for Indigenous, not-for-profit and government organizations. He is Metis and from the traditional territory of the Metis Homeland in the Red River Valley (St. Norbert) in Manitoba and a proud husband and father of five. He is currently a Managing Partner of Raven Capital Partners, CEO of the Raven Indigenous Impact Foundation; Vice-Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Ontario Trilluim Foundation; Managing Director of Lacerte and Cyr Indigenous Solutions (Indigenous management consultancy firm), Vice-President of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative at Grand Challnges Canada and sessional lecturer at Carleton University in Public Policy and the Senior Director of Partnerships for the Raven, a grassroots campaign to end violence against women and children. Mr. Cyr has been active in supporting Indigenous social innovation and building Indigenous social finance mechnaisms in Canada. He is the former Chair of the Insiute Advisory Board for Indgenous Peoples Health at the Canadian Insiutes of Health Research.

Prior to establishing Lacerte and Cyr, he was the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) where he provided nationa leadership for a network of 117 Friendship Centres and eight Provincial and Territorial Associations - the most significant off-reserve Indigenous service delivery structure in Canada. He has dedicated most of his career to the betterment of Canada’s Indigenous people. Prior to his current role, he worked for organizations such as the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Metis Federation and as a Senior Advisor for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Additionally, he has extensive experience in the Privy Council Office on federal-provincial negotiations and the implementation of Indigenous rights. He previously served as Director of International Relations for International Policing with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

He was a member of the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Heath, a Canadian Indigenous representative at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples and has been working withing like-minded urban Indigenous organizations in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Most recently, he was a member of the Advisory Circle for the development of Carleton University’s new Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration.

A gradute of the University of Manitoba, Mr. Cyr holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Langugaes and Politics and Masters of Arts (with distinction) in Political Studies/International Relations.

Paul Lacerte

Paul Lacerte, OBC

Managing Partner

Paul Lacerte has provided innovative leadership to Indigenous organizations throughout his career. He was awarded the Order of BC in 2014.

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Paul Lacerte

Paul Lacerte is a member of the Nadleh Whuten Band and belongs to the Carrier First Nation in northern BC. He served as the Provincial CEO for the BC Assn of Aboriginal Friendship Centres for 20 years.

In 2011 Paul and his daughter Raven co-founded the Moosehide Campaign, a grass roots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men working to end violence against women and children. He is the former Vice-Chair of the Vancouver Foundation Board of Directors, the former Board Chair for Reconciliation Canada, and a former representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2014.

Stephen Nairne

Stephen Nairne

Chief Investment Officer

Stephen Nairne served as the Lundin Foundation’s Managing Director since 2007.

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Stephen Nairne

Mr. Nairne served as the Lundin Foundation's Managing Director since 2007. He serves on the Advisory Board of several SME funds and companies in Sub-Saharan Africa and is concurrently appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches courses on Country and Project Risk Analysis in Developing Countries and African Political Economy.

Prior to joining the Lundin Foundation, Mr. Nairne served as Deputy Director with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's Pacific Office and as Senior Political Risk Analyst at Export Development Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Master of Arts from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.