By Julia Magsombol 

Local Journalism Initiative 

[email protected]

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is celebrating another win for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

The CCAB has reported that funding from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is supporting Indigenous procurement.  

“We are very proud of the momentum this program and the marketplace have achieved,” said Philip Ducharme, vice president of Procurement and Entrepreneurship at CCAB.

Last month the Pioneer talked to Matthew Foss, the vice president of Research and Public Policy for CCAB. 

He noted that despite many successful Indigenous businesses in Canada, some of them face challenges. 

Foss said there is little information about Indigenous entrepreneurs and the importance of a prosperous Indigenous economy and how this supports Canada’s overall economy. 

“I think that hurts their opportunities with respect to export and trade,” Foss said.

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Foss believes in Indigenous businesses and wants to see them thrive and move towards economic reconciliation. 

In 2018, CCAB launched Supply Change — a comprehensive suite of programs and tools aimed to increase procurement from Indigenous businesses in the supply chains of Corporate Canada. It consists of several programs and services, including research, advocacy, education, certification and an Indigenous Procurement Marketplace. Over the six years, Supply Change has grown and includes 1,300 certified First Nation, Métis and Inuit businesses. 

With the ISC’s plans to support CCAB’s continued and long-standing Indigenous procurement, by investing more than $3.4 million through multi-year funding,  the Indigenous business’s supply chain grows more. It also opens more opportunities for Indigenous individuals. 

“Through Supply Change, CCAB continues to advocate for Indigenous businesses, work with all levels of government and corporate Canada to make their supply chains more inclusive of Indigenous businesses and through the marketplace to provide a platform for Indigenous businesses to connect with buyers,” says CCAB president and CEO Tabatha Bull.

“We are very appreciative of this investment from Indigenous Services Canada, and believe it demonstrates that Supply Change has gained the trust and respect of the federal government in advancing Indigenous procurement and equity for Indigenous businesses.” Bull added.

According to a press release, one of the main goals of the funding is to “eliminate barriers Indigenous businesses face when engaging in corporate and government supply chains.” 

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