Indspire Honours Victoria LaBillois with the Business & Commerce Indigenous Excellence Award

The Indspire Awards recognize Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement, promote self-esteem and pride for Indigenous communities, and provide inspirational role models for future generations. This year’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the awards, a testament to the enduring commitment of Indigenous peoples to pursuing excellence in multiple fields of endeavour.

We are thrilled to extend our warmest congratulations to Victoria LaBillois, Vice-Chairperson of the NIEDB, on her well-deserved recognition in Indigenous Business and Commerce. Her exceptional accomplishments serve as an inspiration to those who aspire to make a meaningful impact in the world of Indigenous business. By blazing trails and breaking barriers, Victoria is a source of empowerment and inspiration for us all.

For more information, please visit: Indspire Honours Indigenous Excellence with Announcement of 2024 Indspire Awards Recipients | Indspire

The Canadian Council For Aboriginal Business Honours Hilda Broomfield Letemplier with the 2024 Aboriginal Business Lifetime Achievement Award

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has recently announced five award recipients for CCAB’s 40th Anniversary Gala Award Dinner this May.

Hilda Broomfield Letemplier has been awarded the Aboriginal Business Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honours Indigenous business leaders who have built full and rich careers. It pays tribute to outstanding Indigenous business people across the country who are well-advanced in their careers and have built a legacy that serves as an example of excellence. Past NIEDB Member recipients of this award include Dawn Madahbee Leach and Chief Terry Paul.

Hilda has dedicated her work to fostering sustainable business growth. Her unwavering commitment to cultural preservation, coupled with a keen business acumen, has contributed greatly the empowerment and growth of Indigenous women in business. She has set the standard for future generations to follow. Hilda’s hard work and dedication is an inspiring testament to what economic reconciliation looks like in real time.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Hilda, and the additional award recipients: Nyden Iron-Nighttraveller, Annette Morgan, Mark Little and Det’on Cho Group of Companies. Congratulations!

For more information, please visit: Awards – CCAB

Release of the NIEDB’s 2022 Annual Report

The National Board is excited to share with you the Annual Report for 2022. 2022 was a successful year for the NIEDB. The Board continued to share its vision on a national and international level by attending various events, presenting to government, and publishing reports and strategies centered on Indigenous economic development.

“We are committed to addressing new and ongoing challenges through our work with communities, governments, industry, and academia. We look forward to continued and positive collaboration with these sectors as we work together to close the gaps.”

Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chairperson

Key highlights from the report include:

  • Attending various events, including the BC Assembly of First Nations Economic Development Forum, the OECD’s Investing in Indigenous Communities: Reducing Inequalities and Increasing Opportunities workshop, and the New Zealand Maori Economic Development Gathering;
  • Appearing at the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs to discuss Indigenous economic development;
  • Meeting with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans;
  • Hosting in-person meetings again in Listuguj, Whitecap Dakota First Nation, and Ottawa;
  • Developed by over 20 Indigenous organizations and drafted by a core group of those entities, the launch of the National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada.

Read the full report here.

Release of the NIEDB’s 2019-2021 Multiannual Report

The National Board achieved a number of important milestones from 2019-2021. The NIEDB addresses the importance of engaging Indigenous communities and businesses in all industries and sectors throughout the country to achieve economic reconciliation.

“As Indigenous practitioners of economic and business development at the community level, we fully understand that achieving  true reconciliation will not be possible without vibrant Indigenous economies, characterized by economic self-sufficiency and socio-economic equality with the rest of Canada.”

Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chairperson

Key highlights from the report include:

  • The release of the following reports: 2019 Recommendations on Northern Sustainable Food Systems, 2019 Indigenous Economic Progress Report, 2019 Indigenous Economic Reconciliation: Recommendations of Reconciliation and Inclusive Economic Growth for Indigenous Peoples and Canada report and the 2020-2023 NIEDB Strategic Plan

Special events and milestones:

  • Collaboration with the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on their first-ever report on Indigenous economic development “Linking Indigenous Communities to Regional Development”
  • Hosting a UN Permanent Forum Side Event to discuss activating the economic components of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Read the full report here.

Opportunities For Future Board Members

National Indigenous Economic Development Board: Opportunities For Future Board Members

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) is currently accepting applications for future Board Members. Board Members must be Indigenous and may reside anywhere in Canada.

Who can apply?

Candidates applying for the position of Board Member must possess considerable and demonstrated experience as an Indigenous leader in the field of business and economic development. Governance experience within a national or regional organization and recognition for achievements in this role are essential. Candidates must also be recognized and respected for their leadership, integrity, and trustworthiness by their peers and by relevant communities of interest.


Applications for the role of Board Member will be accepted until September 1, 2023.

How to apply:

Please send the following items to the contact listed below: a detailed, up-to-date résumé that includes your contact information and an explanation of relevant experience.

Contact us:

National Indigenous Economic Development Board Secretariat
10 rue Wellington, Suite 1455

Mail Stop 17-7

Gatineau QC  K1A 0H4


Dr. Marie Delorme featured in The Globe and Mail

In an article entitled, A business leader at home in a ‘trapper’s cabin and a corporate boardroom’, The Globe and Mail highlights the accomplishments of Dr. Marie Delorme as she discusses COVID-19 business challenges, leadership virtues, ally ship and the future of Indigenous business.

“There are more than 50,000 Indigenous businesses in Canada, spanning all sectors and contributing $32-billion annually to the country’s GDP. This contribution could grow to $100-billion through procurement, investment and partnerships with governments and industry. Those are a lot of reasons to be optimistic.”

Read the full article here

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business announces the recipients of the 2023 Business Lifetime Achievement Award and the Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Award

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) plans a celebration to honour Dawn Madahbee Leach as the 2023 Business Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Lesley Hampton, as the recipient of the Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Award. Recognizing their contributions to the Indigenous economy at different stages in their careers, both are to be honoured and celebrated at an Awards Dinner following CCAB’s Central Business Forum on February 7th at the Marriott Toronto Eaton Centre.

Read the full article here

Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates

Victoria LaBillois, Vice-Chairperson of the NIEDB, participated as a witness in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) on December 5, 2022.

During this session, Victoria LaBillois spoke to the issue of diversity in procurement. The official recommendations put forth by the NIEDB are as follows:

  • Significant investment is necessary for the establishment of a new Indigenous-led procurement institution at the national level;
  • Very low current thresholds for non-competitive processes and sole-source contracting must be increased;
  • The target for the total value of federal contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses should be proportionally higher than 5% where geographically warranted;
  • Training on Indigenous cultural awareness for procurement officials should be mandatory; and,
  • The government should monitor and report on an annual basis, distinct from other reporting processes, whether or not each federal department is meeting its mandated 5% Indigenous procurement target.

Additional witnesses:

  • Philip Ducharme, Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Procurement, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Ray Wanuch, Executive Director, Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers
  • Shannin Metatawabin, Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association

Read the full transcript here

Policy Forum: Establishing an Urban Reserve—Property Tax Challenges and Opportunities

ABSTRACT: Urban reserves offer a unique economic development tool for First Nation governments by providing access to markets and infrastructure unavailable on most reserve lands in Canada. Asimakiniseekan Askiy is Canada’s first urban reserve established on land previously owned by a city. The urban reserve was established in Saskatoon by the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in 1988. Asimakiniseekan Askiy provides an example of the economic potential of urban reserves for First Nations and their members, as well as municipal governments and their citizens. The urban reserve is currently home to 60 First Nation and non-First Nation businesses and their 700 employees. In 2020, the urban reserve contributed $465,662 to the city of Saskatoon in service fee payments. However, before this economic potential could be realized, property taxation presented a sizable barrier in the path of taking Asimakiniseekan Askiy from an innovative idea to a successful reality. Establishing an urban reserve has significant property tax implications, since the process requires the transfer of property from the taxing authority of a municipal jurisdiction to the tax jurisdiction of a First Nation government. Agreements providing for the transfer of tax authority also include negotiations relating to the continued provision of services to the urban reserve by the municipality. This article first provides a summary of the statutory environment surrounding the formation and taxation of an urban reserve. A case study of the establishment and 33 years of operation of Asimakiniseekan Askiy is then provided, to illustrate the property tax implications and municipal service agreement process necessary for Canadian communities to achieve the economic benefits of urban reserves. The authors identify property tax challenges inherent in the establishment of an urban reserve and offer recommendations to improve access to urban reserves as an innovative economic development tool.

Full report

NIEDB Chair Witnesses Signing of Indigenous Collaboration Agreement between Canada and New Zealand

Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chairperson of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB), accompanied the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, to Aotearoa-New Zealand from August 20 to 28, 2022, and was joined on Canada’s Indigenous delegation by Dr. Brenda Gunn, of the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, Gerri Sharpe, President of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and Sharon Nate, Executive Director (Education) of the Matawa Tribal Council.

During this visit (August 24), Minister Hajdu signed the Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Aotearoa-New Zealand. The Arrangement will promote and facilitate the socio-economic, political, educational, well-being, cultural and environmental advancements of Indigenous peoples in both countries.

“The deepening of the Canada-New Zealand relationship on Indigenous trade issues and inter-governmental collaboration is a powerful catalyst for change. Both Canada and New Zealand are beginning to understand the value and complexities of Indigenous knowledge and kinship. Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike prosper when Indigenous jurisdiction and authority, and cultural values and languages, are affirmed and celebrated, when fair solutions to land-related claims are implemented, and when reliable community infrastructure is realized.”

Dawn Madahbee Leach
Chairperson of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

Full Press Release