Workshops & initiatives

Indigenous procurement workshops

In 2018, the BC Ministry of Citizens' Services and BC Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, invited NCIED to participate in the Indigenous Procurement Initiative (IPI). The IPI supported the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 92 . . . Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects. 

The IPI’s mandate was to provide input from Indigenous leaders in governance, business and organizations together with community members, youth and Elders, to shape the new BC Procurement Strategy. The Strategy’s goals included improving procurement to improve social and environmental outcomes and promote innovation; creating a simpler, more intuitive process; creating more opportunity for businesses of all sizes; and building greater capacity for procurement in the BC public service.

The NCIED team of Dr. Brent Mainprize, Mr. Arthur Mercer and Ms. Bodie Elliot designed and delivered nine regional engagement sessions. Elders welcomed the NCIED team onto their traditional territories and over 250 Indigenous representatives provided insight into the current procurement processes across government ministries. Participants identified key issues, challenges, gaps and opportunities related to procurement, and offered recommendations for consideration in developing a coordinated government approach to Indigenous procurement.

The NCIED was honoured to facilitate the informative one-day sessions and have an opportunity to gain invaluable Indigenous perspectives that informed the development of the new BC Procurement Strategy.

Economic development workshops

In a partnership with the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Dr. Brent Mainprize, NCIED Gustavson business school champion, and Mr. Arthur Mercer, a Nisga’a hereditary Chief and past CEO of the Nisga’a Commercial Group of companies, delivered more than 15 Aboriginal Community Economic Development Foundationsworkshops, in-community, throughout BC.

Designed for Indigenous leaders with respect to locally-appropriate actions, views, approaches and choices for community-based economic development, the one-day workshops provided a framework, tools, and hands-on experience to enable creation of specific tangible strategies for sustainable economic development in their communities. Each of the three economic development strategies were presented, but more importantly, the benefits of blending strategies were at the heart of the discussions.

Economic rebuilding and development strategies depend upon the decisions of Indigenous communities informed by the best comparative business judgement and wise practices that meet their goals of well-being, sustainability and culture revitalization. The NCIED facilitators offered to return to the communities to spend time with community leaders, managers and officers to enable further discussions around strategic choices and to help create clear timelines and road maps for the community to realize their chosen strategy. They will also provide tools and programs to execute the strategy.