The Future of Employment Equity in Canada

The report, “A Transformative Framework to Achieve and Sustain Employment Equity” is a comprehensive review of the Employment Equity Act conducted by the Employment Equity Task Force. This is the first time since the legislation was adopted in 1986 that an independent task force has been established to review the entire employment equity framework.

In February 2024, the Chair of the Employment Equity Task Force, Professor Adelle Blackett, met with the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) to provide an overview of the report. NIEDB Members Ruth Williams and Sandra Sutter are also members of this task force.

“Our task force heard one message loud and clear: Employment equity is not optional for Canada. For a society that is as deeply diverse as ours to flourish, we must prioritize achieving and sustaining employment equity in the workplace.” (pg. 2)

The Employment Equity Act requires federally-regulated employers to take steps to eliminate barriers to equity in the workplace for disadvantaged groups. Access to stable and fulfilling employment is essential for economic empowerment and prosperity. By ensuring that all Canadians have equal opportunities in the workforce, we will help build a stronger and more inclusive society.

Read the full report here

Release of the NIEDB’s Report: 2019 Indigenous Economic Progress Report Recommendations Revisited

Canada’s history is marked by a legacy of colonization that has had devastating effects on Indigenous Peoples. From the forced removal from ancestral lands to the suppression of culture and language, Indigenous communities have endured centuries of systemic oppression. Today, the call for reconciliation and accountability is louder than ever, as Canadians grapple with the implications of this history and seek a path forward towards healing and justice.

Back in 2022, federal departments and agencies were tasked by the NIEDB to review the recommendations in the 2019 Indigenous Economic Progress Report, and to report on any actions which may have served to advance specific recommendations since the report was issued. The results of this exercise are contained in this new report.

Accountability is a key component of reconciliation. It involves holding individuals, institutions, and governments accountable for past wrongs and ensuring that they are not repeated in the future. Accountability requires transparency, honesty, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. It also means empowering Indigenous Peoples to participate fully in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Reconciliation is not an easy or quick process, but it is a necessary one if we are to move towards a more inclusive and just society. By acknowledging the past, listening to Indigenous voices, and taking meaningful action, we can build a better future for all Canadians. Reconciliation is not just a goal; it is a journey that requires commitment, compassion, and courage. Together, we can build bridges of understanding and create a more inclusive and equitable Canada for future generations.

Read the full report here: NIEDB 2019 Indigenous Economic Progress Report Revisted

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