Press Release

April 17, 2024



Ottawa, April 17, 2024 – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) is pleased that Minister Freeland included NACCA and the IFI network in the Federal Budget 2024, marking a significant milestone in the advancement of Indigenous entrepreneurialism and economic prosperity.

The allocation of $350 million for the IFI Network in Budget 2024 is a clear indication the Government of Canada understands the necessity to invest in the Indigenous economy. The success of the 35 plus year track of NACCA providing funding to the network of Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFIs) who endeavour to create and support Indigenous entrepreneurs is validated by this announcement. The funding will play a pivotal role in supporting Indigenous self-determination and economic empowerment. This crucial investment underscores the government’s recognition of the importance of Indigenous Peoples, businesses, and communities fully engaging in the economy, in alignment with their constitutionally protected rights.

“The inclusion of NACCA in Budget 2024 demonstrates the government’s commitment to advancing Indigenous economic prosperity,” said Shannin Metatawabin, CEO of NACCA. “This funding will enable us to continue our transformative work, breaking down systemic barriers and fostering economic participation aligned with Indigenous cultural values. We acknowledge and thank the Government of Canada for their strong belief, support and inclusion of NACCA and the network of IFIs as we look forward to a continuance of collaborative positive outcomes towards Indigenous Prosperity.”

NACCA, comprising a network of 50+ Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFIs), has been quietly catalyzing Indigenous business development for over 35 years. Through its steadfast commitment, NACCA has facilitated the issuance of 53,000 loans totalling $3.3 billion to small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses across Canada.

These funds will go a long way in supporting vital programs, those empowering Indigenous women and youth entrepreneurs, essential for leveraging private sector capital and deploying loans to Indigenous businesses. Additionally, a $150 million injection into the Indigenous Growth Fund aims to not only attract additional investors but also to establish a sustainable reservoir of capital. This capital infusion is designed to foster ongoing prosperity for Indigenous enterprises.

NACCA’s impact extends beyond financial metrics directly having positive social impact on Indigenous communities. This includes facilitating economic growth, job creation, and community development; particularly in remote areas where conventional lenders hesitate to invest. In 35+ years, NACCA’s contributions have amounted to approximately $12 billion in economic growth, creating over 126,000 jobs while improving the well-being of Indigenous communities.

The government’s investment in NACCA underscores its commitment to building a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Canadians. NACCA extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Government and the many MPs and Senators from all parties/groups for their unwavering support of NACCA’s mission.


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About NACCA:

The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, (NACCA) is a network comprising 50+ Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFIs) committed to driving economic growth for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Through fostering social and economic self-reliance, NACCA and its members strive to cultivate sustainable prosperity within Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast.

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March 12, 2024




March 12, 2024

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – NACCA is thrilled to announce the release of the Indigenous Business Definitions, a national set of consistent definitions that will help direct the procurement of goods and services to legitimate Indigenous businesses across the country.

In 2021, the federal government announced a government-wide procurement target of 5 percent for Indigenous businesses. With annual expenditures of $22 billion overall, this amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars per year in business for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit entrepreneurs.

“We welcome the five percent target,” says Shannin Metatawabin, CEO of NACCA. “But we need to ensure that the contracts are going to Indigenous entrepreneurs— enhancing the well-being of our people, their families, and their communities. This is why we’ve developed the Indigenous Business Definitions.”

Created by a coalition of Indigenous economic organizations, the definitions can be used by public and private sector actors at all levels—including provincial, territorial, and municipal governments and a Canadian business of any size that seeks to promote economic reconciliation. The enthusiasm from the coalition extends to Indigenous entrepreneurs from coast to coast to coast and stems from the necessity to ensure these contracts genuinely empower Indigenous entrepreneurs. This ‘living’ document of definitions will undergo regular updates, recognizing that when local businesses thrive, so do the people, their families, and their communities. The federal government’s five percent procurement policy, coupled with the newly launched First Nations Procurement Organization and the Indigenous Business Definitions, promises a profound impact on Indigenous businesses with rippling positive effects throughout the Canadian economy.

The definitions were developed by a working group of five national Indigenous economic organizations and three national Indigenous representative organizations. The group sought broad stakeholder input. It built consensus and a shared understanding in arriving at definitions for Indigenous sole proprietorships, corporations, non-profits, charitable organizations, cooperatives, and micro-enterprises. The definitions represent the diverse perspectives of Indigenous people and organizations from across the country and are subject to change as they are implemented and need to be responsive to the Indigenous communities served.

“We needed a clear set of criteria—developed by Indigenous people—to set out which businesses should legitimately benefit,” says Jean Vincent, chair of NACCA’s board. “Now we have those criteria.”

The definitions will offer clarity in a context that has long seen false claims of indigeneity, tokenism, and other modes of deception by bad actors seeking to gain an advantage in procurement processes. They will help increase access to financing for Indigenous businesses and improve Indigenous business data. And they will improve accountability and transparency surrounding procurement targets, so that all can understand whether targets are being met.

NACCA hopes that the Indigenous Business Definitions will be applied widely. We know that Indigenous businesses have long been eager to participate in the economic prosperity of our country. Consistent national definitions will help connect legitimate Indigenous businesses to procurement opportunities, advancing one step further on the journey of economic reconciliation.

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Indigenous Business Definitions are a set of criteria that determine what constitutes an Indigenous business or organization for the purpose of procurement. They are designed to ensure that Indigenous Peoples of Canada have direct and meaningful participation, ownership, and benefit from the economic opportunities created by public and private sector contracts.

Media Contact:
Joël Lamoureux Communications Manager NACCA



12 mars 2024 

OTTAWA (ONTARIO) – L’ANSAF est ravie d’annoncer la publication des Définitions des  entreprises autochtones, un ensemble national de définitions uniformes qui aideront à orienter  l’approvisionnement en biens et services vers les entreprises autochtones légitimes partout au  pays. 

En 2021, le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé qu’un objectif de 5 % de la valeur totale de leurs  marchés soit attribué à des entreprises autochtones. Avec des dépenses annuelles totales de  22 milliards de dollars, cela représente des centaines de millions de dollars par année en  affaires pour les entrepreneurs des Premières Nations, métis et inuits. 

Nous accueillons favorablement l’objectif de cinq pour cent », déclare Shannin Metatawabin,  PDG de l’ANSAF. « Mais nous devons nous assurer que les contrats sont attribués aux  entrepreneurs autochtones, ce qui améliore le bien-être de notre peuple, de leurs familles et de  leurs communautés. C’est pourquoi nous avons élaboré les définitions des entreprises  autochtones. 

Créées par une coalition d’organisations économiques autochtones, les définitions peuvent être  utilisées par les acteurs des secteurs public et privé à tous les niveaux, y compris les  gouvernements provinciaux, territoriaux et municipaux et n’importe quelle entreprise  canadienne de toute taille qui cherche à promouvoir la réconciliation économique.  L’enthousiasme de la coalition s’étend aux entrepreneurs autochtones d’un océan à l’autre et  vient de la nécessité de veiller à ce que ces contrats donnent véritablement aux entrepreneurs  autochtones les moyens d’agir.

Ce document de définitions « vivant » fera l’objet de mises à  jour régulières, et reconnaît que lorsque les entreprises locales prospèrent, les individus, leurs  familles et leurs communautés aussi. La politique des 5 cinq pour cent des marchés publics du  gouvernement fédéral, associée à la nouvelle Organisation d’approvisionnement des Premières  Nations et aux définitions des entreprises autochtones, promet d’avoir de profondes  répercussions sur les entreprises autochtones et d’avoir des effets positifs sur l’ensemble de  l’économie canadienne.

Les définitions ont été élaborées par un groupe de travail composé de cinq organisations  économiques autochtones nationales et de trois organisations représentatives autochtones  nationales. Le groupe a sollicité l’avis de nombreux intervenants. Il a permis d’établir un  consensus et une compréhension commune en vue de définir les entreprises autochtones à  propriétaire unique, les sociétés, les organismes sans but lucratif, les organismes de  bienfaisance, les coopératives et les microentreprises. Les définitions représentent les divers  points de vue des peuples et des organisations autochtones de partout au pays et sont sujettes  à changement à mesure qu’elles sont mises en œuvre et doivent être adaptées aux collectivités  autochtones desservies. 

Nous avions besoin d’un ensemble de critères bien définis, élaborés par les peuples  autochtones, pour déterminer quelles entreprises devraient en bénéficier légitimement, a  déclaré Jean Vincent, président du conseil d’administration de l’ANSAF. Maintenant, nous  avons ces critères. 

Les définitions offriront de la clarté dans un contexte qui a longtemps vu de fausses allégations  d’indigénéité, de fausse représentation (tokénisme) et d’autres modes de tromperie de la part  de mauvais acteurs cherchant à obtenir un avantage dans les processus de passation des  marchés publics. Ils aideront à accroître l’accès au financement pour les entreprises  autochtones et à améliorer les données sur les entreprises autochtones. Et ils amélioreront la  responsabilisation et la transparence concernant les objectifs en matière de passation des  marchés, afin que tous puissent comprendre si les objectifs sont atteints. 

L’ANSAF espère que les définitions des entreprises autochtones seront appliquées à grande  échelle. Nous savons que les entreprises autochtones souhaitent depuis longtemps participer à  la prospérité économique de notre pays. Des définitions nationales cohérentes aideront à relier  les entreprises autochtones légitimes aux possibilités de participer au processus  d’approvisionnement, ce qui permettra de faire un pas de plus vers la réconciliation  économique.  

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Les définitions des entreprises autochtones sont un ensemble de critères qui déterminent ce qui constitue une  entreprise ou une organisation autochtone aux fins de l’approvisionnement. Ils sont conçus pour faire en sorte que  les peuples autochtones du Canada participent directement et de façon significative, s’approprient et profitent des  possibilités économiques créées par les contrats des secteurs public et privé. 

Contact média :

Joël Lamoureux Responsable de la communication ANSAF

February 21, 2024

Press Release


Date: February 21, 2024

Indigenous Prosperity Foundation Announces Inaugural Board of Directors

The Indigenous Prosperity Foundation (IPF) proudly unveils its inaugural Board of Directors, a crucial milestone in advancing Indigenous empowerment and economic prosperity.

Established by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) in collaboration with Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFIs) across Canada, IPF is dedicated to supporting underserved Indigenous women, youth, and early-stage entrepreneurs through initiatives focused on training, mentorship, Internet and technology access, seed capital, and capacity building.

The board comprises distinguished leaders committed to addressing systemic barriers and unlocking the full potential of Indigenous entrepreneurship, guiding IPF on its transformative journey.

Indigenous Prosperity Foundation Announces Inaugural Board of DirectorsBobbie Racette: As the inaugural Chair of IPF’s Board of Directors, Bobbie Racette brings visionary leadership and extensive entrepreneurial experience. Her role as the Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus and VG OnDemand exemplifies her commitment to equity and inclusivity, aligning seamlessly with IPF’s mission of empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs and fostering economic prosperity.

Jennifer Sloan: With vast expertise in governance, government relations, media, and stakeholder management, Jennifer Sloan, Mastercard Canada‘s Senior VP of Public Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, plays a crucial role on the IPF Board. Her diverse background in leadership and advocacy, along with board service at organizations like the Canadian American Business Council and Music Canada, underscores her commitment to driving social impact and economic empowerment for underserved communities.

Sharon Redsky: A Shoal Lake #40 First Nation member and principal of Redsky Fundraising, Sharon Redsky brings extensive experience in fundraising, proposal development, and partnership building to IPF’s Board of Directors. Her recent completion of a Master Certificate in Project Management and a Certificate in Indigenous Evaluation further enriches her capacity to drive impactful change within Indigenous communities.

Abdullah Snobar: Abdullah Snobar brings a wealth of expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation cultivated through his roles as the Executive Director of DMZ and CEO of DMZ Ventures. With a track record of supporting over 820 startups to raise $2.58 billion in capital, Abdullah’s leadership is poised to drive impactful change within IPF, addressing underrepresentation in entrepreneurship and fostering economic growth.

Keith Matthew: Dedicated to fostering economic self-sufficiency for Indigenous communities, Keith Matthew’s roles as CEO of Seklep Business Services and Board Director of NACCA provide invaluable insights into economic development, governance, and community leadership.

These esteemed individuals bring a wealth of experience and expertise in governance, entrepreneurship, economic development, technology, fundraising, and advocacy, which will be invaluable in guiding IPF’s mission to foster Indigenous prosperity and empowerment.

“As Chair of the Board, my vision for the Indigenous Prosperity Foundation is to build a future on our own terms, where Indigenous entrepreneurs lead the way to prosperity for our communities,” said Bobbie Racette, IPF Board Chair. “Together, we will forge paths of success rooted in our unique strengths, culture, and values.”

Under the leadership of the Inaugural Board of Directors, IPF is poised to unite donors and funders to uplift Indigenous people and communities through entrepreneur-led economic development.

“It is with great pride and excitement that we welcome the inaugural Board of Directors of Indigenous Prosperity Foundation,” said Shannin Metatawabin, CEO of NACCA. “Their leadership will be crucial in empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs and building a prosperous future for Indigenous communities. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each Director for stepping up to this important role.”

IPF invites individuals, organizations, and partners to join its empowerment mission by becoming donors, volunteering or spreading awareness by visiting

About Indigenous Prosperity Foundation

The Indigenous Prosperity Foundation (IPF) is a charitable organization established by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and Indigenous Financial Institutions across Canada. IPF’s mission centres on fostering success and empowerment among underserved Indigenous women, youth, and early-stage entrepreneurs across Canada by providing training, mentorship, access to technology, internet and seed grants to ensure accessibility and equity while building capacity within the Indigenous economic development ecosystem. Learn more and get involved at

For media inquiries and to book interviews with IPF’s Inaugural Board Directors, please contact Joël Lamoureux at or (613) 316-4089.

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