Chief Dr. Robert Joseph is the recipient of the 2023 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations

August 4, 2023, Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) proudly announces Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, a prominent advocate for Indigenous rights and reconciliation, as the recipient of the 2023 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.

A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawa’enuxw First Nation, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph is a leader of change and an influential voice in reconciliation. As a survivor of the Indian Residential School System, he was formerly the Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and an Honorary Witness to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He is the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, Chair of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation, and a former member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. His lifelong work shows his dedication to his vision of reconciliation.

“I am so honored and filled with a sense of immeasurable gratitude to be receiving the Canadian Aboriginal Business Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations. My spirit soars,” said Joseph.

The Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations, sponsored by Sysco Canada, is presented to a bridge builder who is known for their efforts toward reconciliation between Indigenous communities and Canadian society. They are leaders who have created an impact locally and/or nationally through professional and voluntary commitments.

“We are thrilled to recognize Chief Dr. Robert Joseph’s remarkable achievements with the Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations,” said CCAB president and CEO, Tabatha Bull. “His journey and his legacy has and will continue to serve as an inspiration to future generations towards a more inclusive and equitable Canada. A huge thank you and congratulations to Chief Dr. Robert Joseph for his unwavering commitment to peace and reconciliation.”

Through his commitment to fostering understanding and advancing reconciliation, he has received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of British Columbia, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Vancouver Island University, and others. In addition to these efforts, he is also a sought-after speaker as he shares his story and knowledge in Canada and abroad. His message of peace and healing have resonated with many. Mostly recently, he has written a book, Namwayut, where he speaks of his personal journey, while also providing insight on how Canada and Indigenous communities can move forward.

“Through his persevering commitment to education and awareness, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, has truly supported meaningful progress toward reconciliation in Canada and other countries,” said Roger Francis, President of Sysco Canada. “He has humbly and tirelessly offered his strength and courage to improve the lives of others by promoting reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  At Sysco Canada, we admit, with humility, that we rely on the trails blazed by extraordinary individuals such as Chief Dr. Robert Joseph in our journey towards reconciliation.  On behalf of Sysco Canada, I offer our congratulations to Chief Dr. Robert Joseph for being honoured for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.”

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph will be honoured during CCAB’s Award Dinner, following the West Coast Business Forum, on October 19, 2023 in Vancouver.

Past recipients of the Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations are represented from coast to coast, including, Senator Murray Sinclair, Carol Anne Hilton, Keith McIntosh, Dr. Marie Delorme, and more.


About Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business:

CCAB is committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s economy. As a national, non-partisan association, its mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness. CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to its members to cultivate economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and businesses across Canada. For more information, visit www.ccab.com.

Media contacts:

Alannah Jabokwoam
Senior Associate, Communications & Public Relations
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
T: 416.961.8663 ext. 227