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Director, Research & Government Relations
The marine and aerospace industries in Canada represent a significant, untapped opportunity for Aboriginal businesses because these sectors procure coast-to-coast goods and services, often in the traditional territories of Aboriginal communities. Increasing access to contracts, employment and knowledge transfer within these sectors would help strengthen Aboriginal businesses, communities, and Canada’s economy as a whole. The marine and aerospace industries can also help diversify Aboriginal businesses beyond traditionally successful sectors such as energy, mining and forestry.
Ensuring Aboriginal businesses play an important role in the supply chains of the marine and aerospace industry creates real challenges. While Aboriginal businesses are continuing to grow in number and complexity, there are relatively few at a mature level able to provide the highly technical requirements of some business sectors. For those that are at this level, procurement departments for larger companies higher on the supply chain still struggle to identify Aboriginal partners that can supply tier 1 goods and services. So how can Aboriginal businesses get “caught up” to the level of capacity and visibility needed to be successful in these industries? What level of interest do they have in breaking into these industries? How can trust be built between corporate leaders in these industries and smaller Aboriginal firms? These are the questions explored in this report.