Promising Partnerships for Inuit Businesses

Press Release

Kuujjuaq, Québec, January 26, 2011 A workshop pertaining to the federal Government’s

Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business (PSAB) was organized in Kuujjuaq on January 25 and 26. The aim of the workshop was to provide Inuit businesses and beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA) with information on how to access federal contracts for goods and services. The agenda placed particular emphasis on the PSAB and its advantages for Inuit businesses.  The workshop was organized jointly by the Research and Economic Development Department of the Kativk Regional Government (KRG), the Makivik Corporation, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Kativik Local Development Centre.

“The goal of our information session was to explain to regional Inuit businesses how to submit tenders and obtain contracts from the federal government for goods and services through partnerships with other businesses,” explained Adel Yassa, director of the KRG Research and Economic Development Department.

Vice President Michael Gordon of Makivik Corporation added “There is insufficient capacity for Nunavik Inuit Enterprises to access federal contracts. By providing them with information on federal contract procedures and contacts with officials, the Workshop helped to remedy this situation. It was also important in promoting economic development in Nunavik”.

The PSAB is an initiative of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in which all departments and agencies of the federal government are encouraged to participate. The PSAB is intended to make sure that Canada’s economic and social well-being benefits from strong, self-sufficient Aboriginal people and communities. For more information on the PSAB, consult the website: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ecd/ab/psa/index-eng.asp.

Day one of the workshop was open to the general public and allowed for the sharing of information on how the Canadian government solicits goods and services from Canadian businesses.  Dolores Coelho of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada presented the PSAB and highlighted how it creates business opportunities for Aboriginal businesses across Canada. For her part, Donna O’Quinn, field supervisor for the Canadian mining company, New Millenium Capital Corporation, presented the company’s three development projects in Labrador and Nunavik. Finally, Natasha Bustros, of Public Works and Government Services Canada presented the services offered by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises to assist small businesses in doing business with the government. Day two of the workshop was essentially devoted to computer presentations for JBNQA-beneficiary business owners on precisely how Inuit businesses can solicit contracts from the federal government.

-30-

The KRG is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978, under the JBNQA. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel. The KRG administers public affairs in the areas of municipal matters, transportation, the environment, policing, employment, labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use management, civil security and economic development. The KRG Research and Economic Development Department serves as an essential link between the provincial and federal governments and the region’s businesses and social economy enterprises.

Makivik Corporation is the Inuit owned economic development company created following the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) in 1975. It has the mandate to represent the 9,800 Inuit of Nunavik at the political level, and to administer the funds of the Agreement accorded to the Inuit ($90-million has been received over a 20 year period). Makivik owns subsidiary companies such as Air Inuit, First Air, Nunavik Arctic Foods, Nunavik Creations, Halutik Fuels, Cruise North, and jointly owns with other Inuit regional corporations Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics (PAIL).

Information:
Jean-David Pelletier, senior communications officer
Kativik Regional Government
819-964-2961, ext. 2284 / jdpelletier@krg.ca

Kitty Gordon
Communications Agent
Makivik Corporation
514.745.8880 ext 215
kgordon@makivik.org

Promising Partnerships for Inuit Businesses