New report demonstrates the need to continue strengthening relationships between Indigenous business, government, and corporate Canada
Toronto, ON – December 16, 2020 – Today, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and Sodexo Canada released a report summarizing the CCAB Business Recovery Forum – a first of its kind virtual event held on September 16, 2020. Over 600 participants attended the event. The Forum was a direct response to Indigenous businesses’ concern over finding solutions on how to move forward through this economic crisis.
“As we maneuvered through new and uncharted circumstances, it was evident that we needed to think about recovery in addition to maintaining the momentum the Indigenous economy held leading up to last March. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Indigenous businesses disproportionately, and while we had to gather virtually, it remains a key priority of CCAB to connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses,” said Tabatha Bull, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “CCAB is pleased to release this report alongside our partner, Sodexo Canada and together we commit to applying what we heard to continue to support Indigenous businesses and ensure an economic recovery that includes Indigenous business.”
“It was our great pleasure to sponsor the Business Recovery Forum, an exceptional event organized by CCAB this year,” said Erwin Joosten, Senior Vice-President Energy & Resources, Sodexo Canada. “This was for us the occasion to celebrate our partnership with our Indigenous partners and the communities where we work and share some of our experiences in working as true partners.”
Session outcomes indicated a need to strengthen a procurement relationship between Indigenous businesses and both government and corporate Canada. This will be vital for an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Worth noting from the data and participant feedback is that CCAB’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program appears to be of growing interest to Canadian organizations. PAR is a certification program that helps organizations build effective and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous businesses and communities. Complementing this feedback was the recurring theme throughout the Forum of a need for meaningful partnerships where Indigenous businesses are involved from the initial stage of a project and are not an afterthought.
Based on the feedback in the report, CCAB commits to:
- Working with government to advise them on simplifying the procurement process and reducing barriers for Indigenous business.
- Continue efforts with all government levels and all departments, so they understand and advocate for Indigenous business and an increased Indigenous economy to benefit all.
- Develop more research and collaborate with organizations, institutions, and governments to support Indigenous business and export growth.
- Further promote Supply Change™ and the Aboriginal Procurement Marketplace to connect Indigenous businesses with corporations committed to supporting Indigenous businesses through procurement and established vendor partnerships.
- Reinforce cultural awareness so that companies share rebuilding opportunities with Indigenous businesses and communities.
- Continue to collaborate with other Indigenous organizations to achieve socio-economic prosperity.
- Support outreach for the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program to establish real and meaningful Indigenous partnerships.
- Strive to communicate with and connect more people virtually and in meaningful ways.
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.
Sodexo delivers a wide range of customized solutions, designed to optimize work and living environments. Sodexo has been providing food and facilities management services in Canada for over 40 years, with a focus on enhancing safety, work process and well-being. Sodexo is a market leader in Canada. Sodexo has been recognized as a top employer for the past seven consecutive years. Sodexo is proud to have created the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, an independent charitable organization that has raised over $3 million to fight hunger and donated more than one million meals to at-risk youth across Canada since 2007.
Sodexo is included in the CAC 40, FTSE 4 Good and DJSI indexes.
Key figures (as November 2020)
1st in its sector in both the dow jones sustainability index (DJSI) and the 2020 SAM sustainability yearbook
100 million consumers served daily
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Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
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