President's Message

Boozhoo, members!

Ontario is moving along into its reopening plan, and several regions have reached stage 3 of the opening plan. While this is good news, masks have now been made mandatory in enclosed public spaces, and there is still some public concern for a second wave as communities reopen. The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association continues to wish you and your families well at this time, and for those of you who are starting to move their businesses and organizations back towards regular operation, this newsletter should have some useful resources for you.

As Ontario, Canada, and the world continue to navigate this unprecedented situation, we at the ABPA have been continuing our advocacy work to ensure First Nations businesses and entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario have access to the support they need, and that we will be able to emerge stronger together.

We look forward to continuing to serve, represent, and advocate for our First Nations owners, operators, contractors, partnerships, organizations, and communities. 




Superior Strategies Supply & Service is a wholly Indigenous owned business based in Thunder Bay that offers a variety of safety and industrial products for different sectors in Northern Ontario. First Nations entrepreneur and owner Jason Thompson is a proud member of Red Rock Indian Band and a founding member of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association. Jason initially started Superior Strategies to provide Health and safety Training, and it has now grown to offer a wide variety of products and services while continuing to grow and create opportunities. When the pandemic started, Superior Strategies began sourcing hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 masks, and other supplies for various First Nations communities and organizations in remote, rural, and urban markets. Jason’s team has stringent processes in place to ensure the company procures only reputable products within Canada or abroad, and the timely supplies have been well received by customers.

“While navigating these unprecedented times, we relied heavily on a strong supply network, domestically as well as internationally, to access and provide these products quickly and at a fair price. We have taken great pride in helping deliver essential COVID-19 related products to Indigenous communities and organizations. The strength of our team was apparent as roles and tasks changed to meet new demand. Each team member stepped up, delivering exceptional customer service, and I could not be more proud. As a small business owner for over 10 years, we learned early on the value of being flexible, especially while serving a smaller market over a vast geographical region. COVID-19 allowed us to demonstrate these skills to customers, proving we can deliver no matter the circumstance.”

Superior Strategies invites the communities it serves to reach out and explore opportunities, to share ideas or contacts to help each community prosper. Jason takes pride in his businesses and pride in the services being performed by his entire team. Superior Strategies is excited to be a local contributor to the change that is taking place relative to the Inclusion of Indigenous People in Northern Ontario and Canada.

“We are also very excited to announce we will soon be launching Warrior Supplies, which will carry a variety of COVID related supplies, as well as workwear and uniform apparel. We are excited for what the future holds, for not only us, but for everyone in the North.”


Ontario has moved into Phase Two of it’s reopening strategy, and many regions have progressed to Stage Three. Though social distancing must be maintained and masks must be worn in public spaces, many organizations are allowing more clients and customers on site. These gradual phases may have different impacts depending on the workplace. See the link below for accessible PDF copies of Ontario’s Phase Two and Phase Three changes in the workplace, public spaces, and social gatherings:

2020 Annual General Meeting of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association

Due to the current circumstances of COVID-19, many in-person gatherings may still be unsafe, and we at the ABPA are still following precautions. 

Thankfully, emerging and improving technologies have allowed businesses and organizations to adapt much of their communication to remote platforms that allow for video streaming, multi-person chat, and  real-time responses via polling software and other metrics. We are pleased to announce we are going ahead with a virtual AGM, and we look forward to welcoming our members safely from their homes and offices on Thursday, September 24th.

More details of our panelist speaker, sponsors, and schedule will be coming soon! Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep an eye on your inbox for more information.

We look forward to another milestone for the ABPA, and Miigwetch to all our members for their support during our first year.

Benefits of your membership

We provide information sessions and networking events targeting relevant topics and projects for business expansion in Northern Ontario.

We develop best practices for major First Nations development projects and non-First Nations businesses related to procurement policies and human resource polices focused on inclusion.

Members will be the first to know about special discounts on all events and access to new programs for doing business in Northern Ontario

Members will have better access to economic buyers and key decision makers in Northern Ontario through our business directory and special events and conferences.

what's important to you?

Are there topics or areas of interest that you want to learn more about?

Do you know an Indigenous professional who you think our members should hear from?  

What do you want to see from your ABPA membership?

We try to keep an ear to the ground, but Indigenous enterprise is a thriving, growing economy, and there’s always new voices to hear and new faces to see.

 If there is something or someone you would want to see in a seminar, workshop, or networking event, we invite you to get in touch. Feel welcome to pitch us a topic, nominate a speaker, or simply tell us what’s important to you. Let us know at…

At BMO Indigenous Banking Unit, a proud member of the ABPA, we work with a spirit of partnership and co-operation to provide financial solutions to Indigenous communities and businesses across Canada.

  • Competitive Banking Options for Community Members
  • Payroll
  • Lines of Credit
  • Funding for Government and Organizations
  • Budget Planning
  • Home Visits for Elders
  • Community Participation

Contact the Indigenous Banking Unit today to discuss how we can help your organization grow.

Dan Adams
Vice President, Indigenous Banking North America, Ontario
807-343-1436 |

Sponsor an ABPA Newsletter Today

Would you like to see your name and logo featured for our Anishnawbe Business Professionals community? Sponsor our newsletter. Your name, logo, description of services and contact information will be distributed to our membership and all our social media channels. If your Business or Organization would like to sponsor a future Newsletter, reach out to us at

Ch-Miigwetch for your support for Indigenous Business!

Ongoing COVID-19 Support Through NADF

If your business has continued to be negatively affected by COVID-19, you can still access support. Indigenous Businesses Organizations may have access to increased funding through short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, such as Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF). Aboriginal Financial Institutions can offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.  If you are a partially or wholly owned Aboriginal Business or organization, NADF is currently administering the following emergency funding:


 Emergency Loan Fund. Established by NADF to provide up to $25,000 in support to eligible Aboriginal businesses operating on or off-reserve in NADF’s catchment area (Northern Ontario – Treaty 9, Treaty 5 {Ontario portion}, Treaty 3, and Robinson-Superior 1850). The focus of ELF is on existing and former clients of NADF, but all Aboriginal businesses are eligible to apply.  Not-for-profit businesses and organizations are ineligible.


Regional Relief Recovery Fund. NADF is partnered with FedNor to distribute this funding which aims to fill gaps left by other funding sources to businesses (sole proprietor, corporations, co-operatives), and is a one-time relief fund of up to $40,000.00 for organizations who were deemed ineligible for previous funding.


Indigenous Business Stabilization Program – This funding will be administered through Aboriginal Financing Institutions. There are 59 throughout Canada, and Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) is located in the immediate region. Rainy Lake Tribal Area Business & Financial Services Corporation operates out of Fort Frances, and  Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation operates out of Moose Factory.

We recommend you talk to an accountant, financial advisor, Service Ontario, Service Canada, or Aboriginal Financing Institution to know all your options and eligibility to get the support that’s right for you and your business. NADF clients can contact their account manager, and new clients can reach out to, or call 1-800-465-6821 for an account manager. If you are not in the NADF catchment area, see to find one near you.