Alberta is more than ready and willing to take the lead on any potential sale of the Trans Mountain pipeline to equally willing indigenous groups through the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, Premier Danielle Smith said Monday.In fact, she’s already had preliminary discussions with federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland about the possibility of setting up a similar national funding mechanism if and when Ottawa is prepared to divest all or part of its stake in the line to the West Coast.“I think they've indicated that they would like to do some sort of a national indigenous opportunities corporation. And because we have had success, we've been standing by prepared to assist them in structuring a program so that they can do something likewise. We stand ready to assist in whichever way possible.”.“The issue is that we're not just contemplating Alberta First Nations, which we're more than happy to work with, but it's also British Columbia as well. I don't know if it's in the program parameter to help indigenous communities and other provinces,”Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.On Monday, the UCP government tripled the amount of dollars to $3 billion available for loan guarantees and funding to enable native communities and businesses to acquire equity stakes in energy infrastructure projects, among others.Smith said it is an important first step to offering true economic reconciliation for Alberta’s 48 First Nations spread across 134 reserves on more than 700,000 hectares of land.Previously, indigenous groups weren’t allowed to use land as collateral for loans — even though they own an abundance of it — due to federal restrictions.In September 2022, the AIOC backstopped one of the largest indigenous energy investments ever in North America, a deal worth $1.12 billion dubbed ‘Project Rocket,’ that saw 23 indigenous communities purchase an 11.57% stake in seven pipelines in the Athabasca region in partnership with Calgary-based Enbridge. The landmark deal was made possible by providing a $250-million loan guarantee from the AIOC.A similar deal for Trans Mountain would be complicated by the sheer number of native communities and investors involved, given that more than half of it traverses British Columbia..Alberta native groups have expressed a strong interest in acquiring an ownership stake in the line, but not at any cost..That’s notwithstanding that the Trans Mountain expansion won’t be in service until well into the first quarter of next year. And the fact the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) has to come up with a tolling structure that balances the economic viability of the line with recovering more than $20 billion in cost overruns — and who pays for them.Alberta native groups have expressed a strong interest in acquiring an ownership stake in the line, but not at any cost.Including its purchase of Trans Mountain itself, the federal Liberals have sunk more than $35 billion into the 890,000 barrel per day conduit to the West Coast which has the potential to drastically increase what Canadian oil producers — and the Alberta government — receive for their barrels.The problem is the line is only worth about half that, or $15 billion to $25 billion depending on factors including projected earnings and a final toll settlement. That means the feds are going to be forced to take a substantial haircut on the value of the assets under any projected scenario.A Nanos survey last week found the vast majority of respondents — 68% — as being either ‘opposed’ or ‘strongly opposed’ to taking a multi-billion write down ahead of an expected election in 2025.“In the context of people worrying about paying for groceries and paying for their rent and mortgage, writing off that debt is going to be political jeopardy for the Liberals,” said Nik Nanos.