Indigenous participation in economy strengthens Canada’s social fabric: Survey

June 14, 2017

Aboriginal Day on June 21 celebrates First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture and heritage, along with the accomplishments of Indigenous entrepreneurs

Indigenous participation in economy strengthens Canada’s social fabric: Survey

Toronto – June 13, 2017 – Eight-in-ten Canadians recognize Indigenous businesses strengthen the country’s social fabric, according to a new national Leger survey.

The Sodexo Canada Indigenous Business Survey, commissioned to shed light on attitudes about Indigenous businesses, finds 77 per cent of Canadians recognize the importance of thriving Indigenous enterprises to the creation of sustainable economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples.

Three-quarters of Canadians (77 per cent) also believe supporting strong Indigenous businesses is an important pathway to healing Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

The survey found significant support for action by the private sector to help Indigenous entrepreneurs develop and grow their enterprises.

Key findings

  • 81 per cent agree Canadian corporations should include Indigenous owned and operated businesses in their supplier networks whenever possible.
  • 73 per cent think Canadian corporations should help Indigenous entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
  • Seven-in-ten Canadians (71 per cent) believe that on-going supports for Indigenous companies, such as training and mentoring, should be a long-term strategy for Canadian corporations.
  • 69 per cent think companies doing business on or near First Nations, Inuit and Métis lands should obtain services from Indigenous businesses whenever possible.
  • 73 per cent agree that Indigenous businesses have much to offer the Canadian economy.

“The success of Indigenous businesses clearly matters to Canadians,” says JP Gladu, president and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). “The fact that Canadians expect the private sector to step up with action to help Indigenous entrepreneurs sends a powerful message to decision makers. This broad public support will also fuel the optimism of Indigenous business owners. The role that procurement can play in offering a hand up could incentivize businesses to champion and encourage Indigenous business inclusion at all levels of business interaction and participation.”

Aboriginal Day
Canada’s National Aboriginal Day takes place on June 21 with nation-wide events to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of the country’s Indigenous peoples. The CCAB proudly showcases the considerable accomplishments of Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country and throughout the year. For more information go to

“We commissioned this survey to give Canadians an opportunity to weigh in on the issue of Indigenous business,” says Katherine Power, vice president, corporate affairs, Sodexo Canada. “The findings are telling us that Canadians recognize the societal value created by successful Indigenous businesses and the importance of private sector engagement to help these companies deal with the unique challenges they face. With the right resources, the opportunities for this emerging entrepreneurial class are limitless.”

About CCAB
CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada’s economy. A national, non-partisan association, CCAB offers knowledge, resources and programs to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal owned companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples and businesses across Canada.

About Sodexo in Canada
Sodexo Canada has been delivering On-Site Service Solutions to clients in the Healthcare, Education, Business & Industry, and Remote Sites sectors for over 40 years. Today, Sodexo Canada provides services at nearly 750 locations for more than 230 clients across Canada. The company’s 10,000 employees work together to improve the Quality of Life for their customers by designing, managing, and delivering a wide range of On-Site Service Solutions -- from project management to energy planning, from technical building maintenance to concierge services, from housekeeping to fitness centre management, and from catering and foodservices to clinical technology management. Sodexo Canada is proud to have created the Sodexo STOP HUNGER Foundation, an independent charitable organization that has donated more than 1,000,000 meals to at risk youth in Canada since it was founded in 2001. Follow us on Twitter @SodexoCanada

A survey of 1,535 Canadians was completed online between May 1 and 4, 2017 using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

For more information, contact:
Leslie Booth 

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