Ambitious Native firm tackles big projects

SAN FRANCISCO - Having obtained $5 million in funding in May, Indigenous Global Development Corp. here has been on a tear ever since, announcing projects in natural gas, real estate, and health care.

IGDC received the $5 million from Native America, FLC, and said it would use the money for "energy, pharmaceutical and investment development goals with Native tribes in the U.S. and Canada."

The funding is a loan at 9 percent, according to the company's most recent quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

IGDC also reported it is getting another loan, for $1 million, from Mercatus & Partners Ltd.

The financing will allow the company enough money to fund its operations for the next year, it reported to the SEC. It reported no revenue for the previous nine months.

According to its SEC quarterly report, IGDC as of March 31 had assets of $230,522 and liabilities of $1.47 million, making for a stockholders' deficit of $1.187 million. It also reported a net working capital deficit of $1,306,877.

Founder and chairman of the firm, a unit of United Native Depository Corp., is Deni Leonard, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon. UNDC is organized under the laws of the Navajo Nation.

IGDC, which says it is the only Native majority-owned, publicly traded company in the United States, has just inked a gas contract with Canadian First Nations to sell up to 90 billion cubic feet of natural gas each year.

"Indigenous Global is negotiating contracts to use existing gas pipelines to deliver the natural gas once it reaches the U.S. border," the company said.

The firm said it is in negotiations to develop and own a power plant in Washington state. This would be a 500 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle electric power generating facility fueled by the gas it obtains from the First Nations of Canada.

It has retained the firm TRC to help it finance, construct and obtain permits on the power plant project. And it says GE Power Systems is participating in the project.

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, IGDC says it will also target indigenous people in Guam, New Zealand and Australia. And it recently announced a project in Nicaragua.

There it is partnering with Universidad HispanoAmerica "to develop educational and business expansion projects that provide new opportunities for economic self-reliance for the indigenous populations of Nicaragua." These include wind farms, waste treatment plants, and others.

In another move, IGDC is setting up a unit called NETPHARMX, to provide health care products and services to Native American health centers at a hefty discount. It is partnering with Endocrine Technologies on this venture but retaining a 75 percent ownership share.

The firm will be based in Tacoma, Wash., and IGDC said it is negotiating with the country of Kenya and U.S. Department of Defense "to provide low-cost pharmaceuticals."

IGDC also has recently invested in some high-octane real estate, obtaining a 41-acre luxury property on San Juan Island, Wash., in a neighborhood that includes Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and actor Gene Hackman. Another unit, IGDC Mortgage Co., plans to develop up to six luxury units on Sportsman Lake. It has a partner in the deal called 1500 Partners LP.

The company did not reveal the sale price but said the land was estimated to be worth $60 million.

Leonard noted that this project is an anomaly compared to the mortgage firm's charter to develop affordable housing for Native Americans, but said "it will provide us additional capital to work on Native American homes on the West Coast."

Founder Leonard has degrees from four universities, including the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The company's stock, (IGDC.PK) had traded on Aug.19, at nine cents a share. According to Yahoo Finance, it has traded in a range between five cents and 20 cents since last fall. It was issued at 10 cents a share.

IGDC reported in the SEC filing that its loss for the first quarter was $430,794, and it has lost $7 million since inception in 1993, the filing shows.

But it also reported favorable conditions, such as more than a dozen advantages an Indian-owned business on reservation land can have in the power business.

These include advantages in permitting, environmental assessment, access to water, a big natural gas supply, tax avoidance and HUB Zone advantages.