Aboriginal procurement program launched

New initiative offers workshops, resources and advice

April 6, 2011
by Purchasing b2b staff

The Aboriginal Human Resource Council (AHRC), along with support from the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC), has unveiled a new aboriginal procurement program to help large companies connect with aboriginal suppliers.

The program, called Introduction to Successful Aboriginal Procurement, builds on the aboriginal procurement initiative developed and implemented for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“The resource and intellect that was passed on to us through VANOC, as one of the Games legacies, has enabled us to build a first-class program that is ideal for helping companies find a competitive edge in today’s economy while also advancing the employment of aboriginal people,” said AHRC president and CEO Kelly Lendsay. “A good aboriginal procurement program is a hallmark strategy designed to strengthen corporate social responsibility and enhance partnerships with the aboriginal community for the benefit of both sides.”

The new program has three components: workshops, resources and advisory services. Training, offered online or with an instructor, aims to help procurement managers and supply chain specialists  use and develop tools and strategies to find and procure from aboriginal businesses. Through the workshop, participants learn to:

•    build a business case to support increased sourcing from aboriginal suppliers;
•    cite key elements of an aboriginal procurement strategy and policy framework;
•    define how companies qualify as an aboriginal business;
•    review existing procurement practices to identify potential barriers to aboriginal businesses;
•    introduce adjustments to sourcing practices that will increase the percentage of goods and services sourced from aboriginal businesses while maintaining equitable practices and long-term value; and
•    strengthen links between First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and community economic development.

PMAC president and CEO Cheryl Paradowski said the new initiative is an opportunity for purchasing and procurement managers, as well as staff across Canada, to better understand how to do business with aboriginal firms.

“AHRC’s new program is in line with a key element of PMAC’s current strategic plan: support for strategic supply chain management practice through leading-edge education and resources,” said Ms. Paradowski. “We want our members to have access to high quality supply chain management training programs and professional development opportunities and we believe that AHRC’s Introduction to Successful Aboriginal Procurement program helps us meet that goal.”